ESA selects Viasat for multi-orbit satellite communications study

TAMPA, Fla. — Viasat stated July 26 it has been chosen to review multi-orbit satellite tv for pc networks for the European House Company.

The examine can be performed by the U.S.-based satellite tv for pc broadband operator’s British subsidiary, which is able to spend a yr evaluating technical necessities and potential markets for hybrid networks that mix a number of frequency bands and community architectures.

These embody techniques in geostationary orbit (GEO), medium Earth orbit (MEO), low Earth orbit (LEO) and Excessive Altitude Platform Techniques (HAPS) similar to balloons and airships.

John Reeves, managing director of Viasat UK, stated the corporate will analysis how multi-layer networks “can improve functionality, resilience, and efficiency for end-users throughout business and authorities.”

Viasat UK gives communications options primarily for the British authorities, significantly for information safety and knowledge insurance coverage purposes.

Carlsbad, California-headquartered Viasat is at the moment working via regulatory approvals to purchase British satellite tv for pc operator Inmarsat in a $7.3 billion deal, which might broaden the U.S. firm’s Ka-band GEO constellation globally into different spectrum bands. 

Inmarsat operates a fleet in GEO however has plans for satellites in LEO and extremely elliptical orbits (HEO) that may maximize a satellite tv for pc’s dwell time over increased latitudes.

In the meantime, the European Union is searching for to develop a multibillion-dollar LEO constellation to fill broadband entry gaps in Europe and Africa. 

The proposed sovereign constellation — which is in very early levels — additionally goals to offer safe communications for European governments and navy organizations via quantum encryption applied sciences.

A consortium together with European satellite tv for pc makers, operators, service and launch suppliers has been serving to Europe examine the constellation’s feasibility.

Two different teams of largely early-stage house firms have additionally been learning the proposed community: New Symphonie, which French firms lead, and UN:IO which is led by companies based mostly in Germany.

Viasat expects to finish its examine for ESA within the second quarter of 2023 to present the U.Ok., Europe and allied nations “necessary steerage on a pathway towards creating and harnessing the potential of resilient multi-layered” satellite tv for pc communications capabilities.

Viasat declined to reveal the quantity of funding it’ll obtain from ESA for the examine.

“The examine will deal with understanding how combining orbital regimes can create future techniques that extra effectively use all obtainable assets on orbit,” Viasat spokesperson Daniel Bleier stated.

Whereas the examine “shouldn’t be supposed to particularly inform Europe’s plans for a sovereign LEO constellation,” Bleier stated “it may present invaluable perception to advance the evaluation of LEO, MEO, and GEO techniques in addition to the capabilities of hybrid, multi-layered techniques.”

Viasat’s multi-orbit plan

Viasat’s shareholders final month accredited its plans to accumulate Inmarsat, placing the deal on observe to wrap up later this yr following regulatory approvals.

The Competitors and Markets Authority (CMA), the U.Ok.’s competitors regulator, stated July 25 it has began to evaluate the transaction. The regulator invited the general public to weigh in on its evaluate throughout a remark interval that closes Aug. 15.

“This is a vital and anticipated a part of the method in the direction of completion of the deal, and we’re dedicated to continued engagement with the CMA on this evaluate,” Viasat spokesperson Jessica Packard stated in an emailed assertion.

“We keep our perception that the complementary assets and property of the mixture with Inmarsat will consequence within the creation of a greater UK enterprise that may supply higher capabilities to each UK shoppers and Authorities prospects.”

French GEO operator Eutelsat introduced the trade’s newest multi-orbit consolidation deal July 26 with plans to merge with OneWeb, the U.Ok.-based LEO broadband operator.

That deal may have implications for Europe’s sovereign broadband constellation, as a result of Eutelsat is a part of the trade consortium that has been serving to to develop the community.

Though Eutelsat would take over OneWeb via their proposed all-share transaction, the British authorities would retain a particular share in OneWeb that comes with precedence voting rights.

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.