Ground Infrastructure

Extensive, interconnected — and highly reliable

Iridium’s global satellite constellation is supported by an extensive ground infrastructure that ensures the high reliability of the communications network through multiple layers of redundancy and back-up systems for all critical functions.

Interconnected by advanced fiber-optic and broadband satellite links, the Iridium ground infrastructure provides:

  • Terrestrial connections for mobile satellite voice and data calls
  • Network command, control and monitoring, and
  • Technical support

The Satellite Network Operating Center (SNOC) is the nerve center of the Iridium space and ground network — providing 24/7 monitoring and control over all network elements, including satellites, ground sites, and interconnections. The SNOC team also:

  • Conducts trending and performance analyses to ensure Quality of Service (QoS) requirements are met
  • Produces daily and weekly mission planning and orbit determination reports, and
  • Delivers real time satellite and network engineering support

The Gateway is the landing point for commercial voice and data traffic via the satellites, providing connections into the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the Internet cloud. Network Operators and Engineers constantly monitor the highly sensitive alarm and notification system with a direct, secure link to the SNOC and other ground stations.

The Ground Stations serve as the primary landing points for Iridium OpenPort® communications, and as a backup landing point for commercial traffic. Ground Stations can also serve as Tracking, Telemetry and Control (TTAC) sites.

The Technical Support Center is managed and staffed by engineering and technical personnel with in-depth understanding of all aspects of the Iridium network. This team provides:

  • Systems integration testing of network systems and subsystems
  • Service monitoring and performance analysis
  • System anomaly response and resolution System over-the-air testing
  • Software development for satellites and ground infrastructure
  • Iridium partner product certification support, and
  • Other vital technical functions