Tim Furniss/LONDON

AlliedSignal is to set up a project called DataLynx to provide a global satellite control centre for independent satellite operators.

Based in Maryland, DataLynx is intended to provide a standardised, high-technology service to the emerging, smaller operator market, including private remote-sensing and mobile communications satellite companies. The centre is to be in operation by mid-2000.

"Small satellite operators will be able to buy the service on a use basis, so they won't need to invest in satellite ground networks and can focus on serving their customers," says Ivan Stern, president of AlliedSignal Technical Services.

As well as the control centre, DataLynx will have ground tracking and control stations around the world designed to control several different types of satellite and multiple numbers of satellite constellations, such as those providing cellular mobile communications.

The first of these subsidiary centres will be built in Fairbanks, Alaska. DataLynx plans to automate as many functions as possible and will require few controllers.

The AlliedSignal scheme is a response to similar services being offered by Boeing and Lockheed Martin in preparation for one of the companies receiving a contract for NASA's consolidated space operations programme.

Source: Flight International