Long-awaited ViaSat-1, Touted As DSL Competitor, is in Orbit

PARIS — ViaSat Corp.’s ViaSat-1 satellite tv for pc, which the corporate says will reshape the competitors with DSL in offering broadband to customers, was efficiently launched Oct. 20 aboard an Worldwide Launch Providers (ILS) Proton rocket and was reported wholesome in orbit by ViaSat and the satellite tv for pc’s builder, Area Programs/Loral.

ViaSat-1 is the second of a brand new technology of satellites that, by using the largely unused Ka-band portion of the radio spectrum and slicing up its protection into dozens of spot beams, will ship a complete of 140 gigabits per second of throughput capability. That’s 14 instances the throughput of Hughes Electronics Corp.’s Spaceway 3 satellite tv for pc, which till earlier this 12 months was the record-holder for shopper broadband capability.

The primary of this new technology of high-throughput satellites, the Ka-Sat spacecraft owned by Eutelsat of Paris that may use ViaSat-built floor terminals to supply shopper broadband in Europe, entered industrial operations in Might. Ka-Sat has a throughput of about 70 gigabits per second.

Carlsbad, Calif.-based ViaSat Corp. has not hidden the significance of ViaSat-1 to the corporate’s enterprise. As soon as operational, beginning in January, ViaSat-1 will allow ViaSat’s WildBlue shopper broadband service to aggressively join subscribers in these high-demand areas the place WildBlue’s present satellite tv for pc capability is bought out.

For ViaSat, there may be little time to lose. Germantown, Md.-based Hughes has ordered a spacecraft much like ViaSat-1, referred to as Jupiter, and plans to launch it in mid-2012. For the previous two years or so, largely due to Spaceway 3, Hughes has been in a position to develop its HughesNet broadband service in those self same high-demand areas the place WildBlue has been on the sidelines.

ViaSat-1’s launch got here a number of months later than deliberate, first due to an uncommon incident throughout testing, when a hydraulic pump leaked fluid onto the spacecraft. Later, the Proton rocket was grounded following an August failure, forcing a delay within the launch date.

Weighing 6,739.5 kilograms at launch, ViaSat-1 is the heaviest industrial satellite tv for pc ever positioned into orbit by ILS, the Reston, Va.-based industrial launch arm of Proton producer Khrunichev State Analysis and Manufacturing Area Heart of Moscow.

ViaSat and Area Programs/Loral mentioned ViaSat-1 was sending alerts indicating regular very important indicators shortly after separation from the Proton rocket’s Breeze-M higher stage, and that it subsequently deployed its photo voltaic arrays. Area Programs/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., can be constructing Hughes’ Jupiter craft.

ViaSat-1 will function in geostationary orbit at 115 levels west longitude, the place it’s anticipated to reach in late December. ViaSat mentioned a minimum of some industrial service will probably be carried by ViaSat-1 beginning in December. The satellite tv for pc carries 63 spot beams to be educated over the US, primarily in these areas the place WildBlue has already discovered excessive demand; and 9 over Canada.

The Canadian capability is owned by satellite tv for pc fleet operator Telesat of Canada, which has leased it to Xplornet, Canada’s largest satellite tv for pc broadband service supplier.

ViaSat Chief Govt Mark D. Dankberg has staked his skilled popularity and his firm’s fortunes on the proposition {that a} satellite tv for pc brimming with bandwidth and aimed on the extremely populated areas of the US will efficiently compete with DSL. With sufficient bandwidth on orbit, Dankberg has mentioned, satellite tv for pc broadband will transfer out of its rural enclave to go head-to-head with DSL even in suburban areas the place cable is just not current.

“ViaSat-1 is designed to rework the economics and high quality of service that satellite tv for pc broadband can present,” Dankberg mentioned in an Oct. 20 assertion.

Dankberg’s perception was so sturdy that he secured ViaSat board approval to construct ViaSat-1 when WildBlue — then a ViaSat buyer — didn’t act shortly sufficient to safe further satellite tv for pc bandwidth. Along with working counter to Dankberg’s imaginative and prescient of what satellite tv for pc broadband is all about, WildBlue’s hesitation meant gross sales of ViaSat satellite tv for pc terminals — the corporate’s historic core enterprise — have been slowing.

ViaSat subsequently bought WildBlue and is now invested in all the satellite tv for pc broadband chain — satellite tv for pc operation, ground-equipment manufacturing and repair provision.



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