Space Systems2019-03-07T10:52:23+00:00

Space Systems

Learn more about Viasat’s growing fleet of powerful spacecraft

With four satellites in orbit today and the three-satellite constellation of ViaSat-3 just around the corner, space and space systems are a major focus for Viasat. Learn how this fascinating side to our business drives the technology to connect the world.

Engineer Ryan Milbourne already looking ahead to work on ViaSat-3 satellite

Name: Ryan Milbourne Area of Expertise: Software Engineer: satellite applications for spacecraft and ground infrastructure Words to live by: Be prepared. What’s the most exciting thing you’ve been working on in the past year? ViaSat-2, of course! If you’ll forgive the pun, it’s been a blast working with so many talented engineers to pull the network together. What do you love about working at Viasat? I learn something and am challenged every day.  I’m fortunate that I get to work [...]

Feb 28, 2018|

First data sent over new ViaSat-2 satellite

Not long ago, the notion that a single broadband satellite could do the work of a hundred or more of its predecessors was far-fetched. When we launched ViaSat-1 in 2011, we changed the industry’s thinking on that in a big way. This past weekend, we made a big step toward showing that our new satellite, ViaSat-2, is ready to disrupt the industry once again. Launched June 1, Viasat-2 has now arrived in its geostationary orbit, moved into its earth-facing orbit [...]

Dec 8, 2017|

What Happens After ViaSat-2 Launches: Step 3. Orbital Operations

Once the satellite is in service, operations and maintenance kicks in – in the form of constant monitoring and adjustment of: The satellite’s position in its orbital box; The satellite’s attitude, or orientation of the satellite in orbit to ensure it is pointing at the earth; Orbital debris and collision risks; Payload performance – adjusting beam power levels and gain states; and Overall condition – power, thermal, propulsion, etc. Additionally, every day, multiple days’ worth of commands are uploaded to [...]

Jun 15, 2017|

How the Viasat ground system connects earth and sky

When people think of satellite internet, their minds usually turn skyward. But it takes a lot more to provide the Exede service than just satellites. Without the ground network, a satellite would be merely an expensive piece of space hardware. The ground network accepts signals from the satellite, and manages traffic to and from the internet. Most of this happens out of sight from a satellite internet subscriber. But if you see a big, white antenna like the one pictured here, [...]

May 23, 2017|

Checking-in: Latest ViaSat-2 satellite launch update

ViaSat-2 is making strong progress on its way toward its June 1 launch. The second week of the launch campaign closed by reaching a number of achievements including ViaSat-2 being transferred from the BIL (French acronym for Launcher Integration Building) to the BAF (French acronym for Final Assembly Building).  The BIL is the building where the rocket is initially assembled from the individual components that are shipped over from Europe.  The BAF is the building where the satellites and the [...]

May 15, 2017|

What happens after ViaSat-2 launches: Step 2. In-orbit test

After we have designed, built and launched a satellite into space, and it has reached its geostationary orbital slot, we do not immediately call it operational. In fact, we commence the next phase of the process, known as In-Orbit Test (IOT), which evaluates the health of the satellite and characterizes its performance post launch. IOT is the last major test on the satellite before it goes into service and is necessary for a number of reasons: To make sure that [...]

May 10, 2017|

ViaSat-2: Getting ready for launch

A question the Viasat program team is often asked is: what happens leading up to a satellite launch? Let’s take you through the ViaSat-2 journey – now that we’ve shipped the satellite from the Boeing Satellite Systems International factory in El Segundo, Calif., to the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. As you’ll learn, a lot happens in the weeks leading up to its ride into space. Shipping As you can imagine, it’s not easy to move a satellite that [...]

Apr 8, 2017|

What Happens After ViaSat-2 Launches: Step 1. Orbit Raising

First, a bit about orbital mechanics…. A rocket launching a commercial geostationary satellite generally leaves the satellite in what is known as a transfer orbit.  These orbits may have apogees (high points) at geosynchronous altitudes, known as a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), above geosynchronous altitudes, known as a Super-Synchronous Transfer Orbit (SSTO), or with altitudes below geosynchronous altitudes, known as a Sub-Synchronous Transfer Orbit.  From whichever orbit the rocket leaves the satellite in, it is up to the satellite to [...]

Apr 3, 2017|