ESA, ViaSat partner on ViaSat-3 satellite communications system development
(6 November 2017 - ViaSat) ViaSat today announced a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between its wholly owned subsidiary ViaSat Antenna Systems S.A. and the European Space Agency (ESA), to develop key components of the ViaSat-3 satellite communications system with European industry.
ViaSat-3 is an ultra-high capacity satellite platform, comprised of three ViaSat-3 class satellites with state-of-the-art ground network infrastructure. Each ViaSat-3 satellite will offer over 1-Terabit per second (Tbps) of network capacity, which is comparable to the total capacity of all commercial satellites in space today. The platform is expected to give consumers greater choice in their Internet Service Provider (ISP) by enabling 100+ Megabits per second (Mbps) broadband speeds to the home.
The €68M PPP, known as Project AIDAN, has been kicked off with an initial €31.2M and is co-funded by ESA with the support of three of its Member States (Switzerland, the Netherlands and Romania), ViaSat and others within the European industry. This program will focus on developing and productizing two key innovative components of the ViaSat-3 satellite ground segment, which include:
- Fixed and mobile user terminals, including the development of a fully-electronic phased array for residential broadband, in-flight Wi-Fi and connected car applications; and
- Ground segment equipment and gateways for the ViaSat-3 network, which include the Satellite Access Node (SAN) subsystems for a cloud-based ground network infrastructure.
Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications commented, "The PPP with ViaSat will bring ESA and industry together to quickly develop broadband products that will serve the needs of millions of consumers across Europe who are currently without adequate internet service. We believe this is a significant industrial opportunity that will keep Europe at the forefront of satellite and broadband technology development, giving Europe a leading position on the deployment of a next-generation broadband system with advanced ground networks and consumer equipment."
ViaSat Chairman and CEO, Mark Dankberg continued, "ESA aims to foster space innovation and promote a strong space economy. As a global company with a growing presence in Europe, we are proud to partner and tap into the space interests of ESA, the Member States and European industry. Our new Public Private Partnership with ESA will develop and bring-to-market new satellite-based broadband technologies to ensure European citizens have access to affordable, high-quality internet services."
Product Innovation Availability
Products under the PPP are expected to be available in 2019. This timing will enable adequate testing of all equipment with the ViaSat-3 constellation. As publicly announced, the first two ViaSat-3 class satellites will focus on the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), respectively, with a third satellite system planned for the Asia Pacific region.
ViaSat keeps the world connected. As a global broadband services and technology company, ViaSat ensures consumers, businesses, governments and military personnel have communications access - anywhere - whether on the ground or in-flight. The Company's innovations in designing highest-capacity satellites and secure ground infrastructure and terminal technologies coupled with its international network of managed Wi-Fi hotspots enable ViaSat to deliver a best available network that extends the reach and accessibility of broadband internet service, globally.