WASHINGTON — The recently launched ABS-3A and Eutelsat 115 West B satellites are making their way to geostationary orbit with support from AGI’s new Commercial Space Operations Center, or ComSpOC, under a contract with Boeing, the satellites’ manufacturer, Exton, Pennsylvania-based AGI announced March 27.
The contract is the first for the ComSpoc, which tracks satellite orbits and space debris using a network of optical and radio-frequency sensors combined with proprietary software. AGI is marketing the service as adjunct to the U.S. government’s Joint Space Operations Center, a which supports the U.S. military and provides warnings of potential orbital collisions to other satellite operators.
ABS-1 and Eutelsat 115 West B are the first-ever commercial satellites featuring all-electric onboard propulsion systems, which were introduced by Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems, and offer operators substantial weight savings. The satellites were launched together March 1 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The weight savings, which enables lower costs, comes at a cost — all electric satellites take several months to reach their operating orbit once launched. AGI’s contract, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, covers the launch and early orbit operations of the satellites.