ViaSat, European Space Agency Partner For Ultra-High Capacity Satellite Platform

By Kendall Russell | November 7, 2017
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ViaSat subsidiary ViaSat Antenna Systems and the European Space Agency (ESA) have entered a public-private partnership to develop key components of the ViaSat 3 satellite communications system in Europe.

ESA kicked off the 68 million euro ($78.9 million) partnership, known as Project Aidan, with an initial 31.2 million euros ($36.2 million). The partnership is co-funded with the support of three ESA member states (Switzerland, the Netherlands and Romania), ViaSat and others within the European industry. This program focused on developing and productizing two key innovative components of the ViaSat 3 satellite ground segment. Those components 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.

ViaSat 3 is an ultra-high capacity satellite platform comprising three ViaSat 3 class satellites and accompanying ground network infrastructure. According to ViaSat, each ViaSat 3 satellite should offer more than 1 terabit per second of network capacity. The company expects the platform to give consumers greater choice in their internet service provider by enabling 100 mpbs or higher broadband speeds to the home.

“The [partnership] 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,” said Magali Vaissiere, ESA director of telecommunications and integrated applications. “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.”

This article was originally published by Via Satellite, an Avionics sister publication. It has been edited.

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