October 8, 2008
Coast Guard Boosts Orbcomm Contract ; $500,000 More for Ship Monitoring
By ANDREW TANGEL, STAFF WRITER
Orbcomm Inc., the Fort Lee-based satellite communications company, will receive nearly $500,000 more on a contract with the U.S. Coast Guard to monitor ships, the company announced.The Coast Guard has selected the "high-usage option" for an Orbcomm system that tracks ships' signals showing their location, identity, speed and heading, Orbcomm Chief Executive Officer Marc Eisenberg said.
The Automatic Identification System transponders on ships were intended to prevent collisions, and the Coast Guard uses them for search and rescue operations as well as security, Eisenberg said.
The Coast Guard, which can already monitor the AIS signals when ships are close to land, commissioned Orbcomm to develop a satellite to detect the signals when ships are farther out to sea. Orbcomm launched that satellite and five others in June. With the new amendments, the company's agreement with the Coast Guard is worth more than $8 million.
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