Viasat has completed the payload integration and performance testing of the first of the three satellites for its ViaSat-3 global constellation, and has shipped the hardware to the Boeing Satellite Systems facility in El Segundo, California for the final stages of production. The ViaSat-3 network will serve the Americas and the surrounding ocean regions.
The payload will be integrated with the bus module, which is based on Boeing’s proven 702 platform, and the satellite will then undergo a series of environmental testing procedures to simulate the stresses of a launch and operation in the harsh environment of space. The official launch is targeted for early 2022.
“Once complete, we will be ready to put the world’s highest-capacity single satellite into geostationary orbit to serve the world by delivering broadband to the hardest-to-reach areas anywhere — on the ground, in the air and at sea,” said Dave Ryan, president of Viasat Space & Commercial Networks.
Each ViaSat-3 satellite is expected to generate over 20kW of payload power. Just three of these satellites will cover nearly the entire globe, and are expected to deliver over 3,000 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of capacity – or 3 Terabits per second (Tbps) total – for 15 years or more. ViaSat anticipates that the constellation will have roughly eight-times more capacity than its current fleet combined.
“While the payload was assembled at Viasat’s Tempe, Arizona facility, the effort was company-wide,” Ryan added. “From Tempe, to the antenna expertise in Duluth (Georgia), to Germantown (Maryland) for their software and systems engineering know-how and other offices around the world, from Chennai, India to Lausanne, Switzerland, as well as at our Carlsbad headquarters, all of these teams worked together to come up with a totally unique way to not only build this spacecraft, but to test it in record time.”
Progress has also been made in the ViaSat-3 ground segment over the past year in preparation to support the upcoming launches. Viasat is also working on the construction of the payloads for the second and third ViaSat-3-class satellites, ViaSat-3 (EMEA) and ViaSat-3 (APAC). The ViaSat-3 (EMEA) payload is expected to be delivered to Boeing in the latter part of FY2022.