Harris Corp. has signed an agreement to use hosted payload space on Iridium Communications Inc.“™s Iridium NEXT satellite constellation set for a 2015 launch.
The deal could involve “hosting fees” of up to $45 million for the Iridium NEXT resources used once it goes into orbit, with the final amount to be determined when all payloads are launched by 2017, according to an Iridium statement.
The fees will be paid as the satellite constellation is built and launched in the next four years, it added.
Matt Desch, Iridium chief executive, said the agreement allows Harris to support other applications for clients who would otherwise need to develop and launch independently.
Iridium expects further revenue from data transport and payload management services throughout the Iridium NEXT“™s lifecycle and as other Iridium NEXT functions come online.
Harris is already under contract to build 81 payloads that will be integrated with Iridium’s new satellites.
“We are now very excited to work with Iridium on using the additional space onboard to address other customer applications,” said Bill Gattle, Harris GCS vice president of aerospace systems.
“Iridium NEXT offers a rare opportunity to leverage a global constellation of satellites for multiple applications,“ he added
Iridium NEXT comprises 66 operational satellites and six in-orbit spares, plus nine ground spares scheduled to replace the existing network in four years.