Iridium Epoch Change

Important information on the Iridium re-epoch and impact on Beam products.

As part of standard satellite network operations, Iridium periodically resets the Iridium L-Band system time count, otherwise known as a “re-epoch”.

The requirement to reset the L-Band system time count in order to maintain network continuity remains necessary, and therefore:

  • On March 3, 2015 at 18:00:00 UTC, Iridium will change the Iridium L-Band system time count from “ERA1” to “ERA2”.
  • On March 3, 2015 after the change to ERA2, the Iridium L-Band system time counter will report an adjusted number; with the zero base value equating to May 11, 2014,14:23:55 UTC.

Does this affect Beam products?

There will be an impact on several of Beam Communication’s Iridium products. These are:

  Impact Firmware Version Update Management Tool
  Incorrect time in log file Tracking message time incorrect
PotsDOCK Extreme X   1.2 Eagle
DriveDOCK Extreme X   1.3 Eagle
IridiTRAK RST430 X X 2.4 IMS
SatDOCK-G 9555 X X 1.8 SDMS
PotsDOCK 9555 X X 2.9 PDMS
IntelliDOCK 9555 X   2.9 PDMS
RemoteSAT RST100 X   4.16 BMS

Incorrect time in event log

For units that provide event log information via Windows management software. Time referenced in these logs will be incorrect with units operating on existing firmware that have not been upgraded to support the latest Iridium re-epoch. While it is recommended that users upgrade to the latest version of firmware to ensure epoch compatibility, some users may not utilize the log functionality and therefore may experience no impact if the existing firmware is not updated.

Tracking message time incorrect

For users who are utilizing tracking functionality, the time stamp included in the payload (message body) will be incorrect for units operating on existing firmware that have not been upgraded to support thelatest Iridium re-epoch. It is therefore critical that these units have their firmware updated to ensure tracking functionality operates correctly.

Firmware Version Update

This is the firmware version that contains the update for the latest Iridium re-epoch. Earlier (lower) firmware versions will not have the update and should be upgraded. Version numbers equal or higher to these values contain the epoch update and will not be impacted by the re-epoch.

What Should I Do?

To ensure that the above mentioned products will be fully functional, Beam Communications has released new firmware to address the Iridium re-epoch.
Download the latest firmware for your products on our website. Go to the support section for your product on and the Beam firmware will be available under “Configuration”.
Iridium handsets 9555 and the Iridium 9575 Extreme may require additional configuring to ensure compatibility with the Iridium re-epoch. Please consult with your handset vendor for further information on this process.

Thank you,
Beam Communications