Ball Aerospace will work with Thales Alenia Space on the next-generation satellite constellation Iridium NEXT programme.

Iridium NEXT is a constellation of satellites being built by Thales Alenia for the satellite operator Iridium Satellite.

The Iridium NEXT fleet will be a second generation of Iridium satellites that will provide improved data speeds, higher quality voice and flexible allocation of bandwidth than its predecessors.

The satellites will host secondary payloads for remote sensing applications, weather monitoring, earth observation and command and control.

The aerospace firm will process four spacecraft at one time through its satellite production facility and also advise Thales Alenia on possible hosted secondary payload opportunities to serve the needs of a various defence and civil missions.

The launch of the Iridium NEXT family will begin in 2014.