Orbcomm

Orbcomm plans to file a claim under the insurance policy for the company's six satellites launched on 19 June 2008 (one Coast Guard demonstration satellite [CDS] and five so-called quick-launch satellites). Since launch, communications capability for three of the quick-launch satellites and the CDS has been lost. The remaining spacecraft also have developed some problems which limit their use.

After consultation with OHB and the its own engineers, Orbcomm believes that after such an extended period of no communication with the satellites, it is unlikely that the satellites will be recovered.

Orbcomm has filed a claim under its in-orbit insurance policy for all six satellites as either a total loss or constructive total loss. The total loss claim is for the one satellite that suffered a power system failure resulting in loss of contact in February 2009, and the constructive total loss claim for each of the other five satellites is on the basis that these satellites do not meet the working satellite criteria stated in the policy. Under the terms of the policy, a satellite that does not meet the working satellite criteria constitutes a constructive total loss of that satellite for insurance purposes.


Earlier in 2008, Orbcomm revealed the failure of two satellites in its original constellation: "[O]ne of our plane D satellites, which had limited availability and a battery anomaly preventing nighttime operation, is no longer providing regular operational service although it may continue to provide service on a limited basis. The remaining five plane D satellites have been repositioned to minimize coverage gaps that impact system latency and overall capacity. In addition, one of our plane B satellites is no longer providing operational service. The remaining seven plane B satellites have been repositioned to minimize coverage gaps that impact system latency and overall capacity."

Last modified: 16 November 2009