Commercial Satellites

GEOStar Commercial Communications Satellites

Northrop Grumman's GEOStar satellites are the most economical and reliable solution for the small to medium market providing a full complement of payload capabilities. With over 40 satellite contracts to date, Northrop Grumman's GEOStar satellites have demonstrated benefits to established global and regional operators, as well as government and emerging new businesses for Broadcast Satellite Services (BSS), Fixed Satellite Services (FSS), broadband, and other mission critical applications.

Current GEOStar Missions

Heritage GEOStar Missions

Communications Networks

Iridium NEXT

Under a contract with Thales Alenia Space, Northrop Grumman conducted integration and test services for Iridium NEXT, the next-generation satellite constellation of Iridium Communications Inc. Northrop Grumman integrated the communications payloads and platforms for 81 low-Earth orbit Iridium NEXT satellites and tested the systems at its satellite manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona.


Northrop Grumman is a pioneer in low-Earth orbit communications satellites, with its heritage company having conceived, built and deployed the ORBCOMM network. ORBCOMM was the first global communications network to employ a constellation of LEO satellites. From 1994 to 1999 the company built and deployed 35 satellites and integrated five "gateway" ground stations and a network operations center to manage the satellites and process their data.

The narrow-band ORBCOMM network is used to receive and send short messages to mobile assets such as trucks, trailers, marine vessels, rail cars and other remote assets that are often out of reach of terrestrial communications networks. In 2007, six communications subsystems were delivered to ORBCOMM, Inc. for satellites which were launched in 2008 to augment the ORBCOMM in-orbit fleet.

Imaging Satellites

Northrop Grumman was an industry pioneer in the development of spacecraft designed to provide commercial Earth imaging services. The innovative OrbView series of spacecraft paved the way for today's space-based commercial Earth imaging industry.

Today, our flight-proven LEOStar-2 and -3 spacecraft platforms are designed to support a variety of multispectral, visible and thermal imaging payloads.

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