Financially troubled Orbital Sciences Corp. has gotten some much-needed help, as Motorola has tapped the Dulles, VA-based company to supply in-vehicle components and control center software solutions for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (LACMTA) new Advanced Transportation Management System.

Motorola will oversee the installation and start-up of an integrated wireless communications system that will provide real-time information to LACMTA's dispatchers and system planners, with a fleet of "Smart Buses" expected to begin entering service in the summer of 2003, Orbital said.

Orbital's Transportation Management Systems division will supply Mobile Data Terminal control units for more than 2,400 fixed-route buses and service vehicles and also install communications and dispatch software system in LACMTA's Operations Control Center.

The deal comes during a tough stretch for Orbital. The company filed for Chapter 11bankruptcy protection in September of 2000 as its subsidiary, Orbcomm Global LP, found it too difficult to recoup the $500-million investment it had made in the company's network of 28 LEO satellites in the 1990s.