Space – Satellites2019-04-16T10:53:13+00:00

Space – Satellites

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.

Satellite internet latency: What’s the big deal?

One thing a lot of people ask about with Viasat satellite internet service is something called “latency.” If you’ve researched what satellite internet service is like, you may have run across this term and wondered what it’s all about. Latency is sometimes identified as one of satellite internet’s biggest drawbacks, so what’s the deal here? Here’s the super-condensed story: Unless you’re doing some types of online gaming or using “VPN” work-from-home software, satellite latency is not a big deal for [...]

Sep 6, 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 [...]

Jun 15, 2017|

ViaSat-2 successfully launched

Approximately 29 minutes after liftoff, the ViaSat-2 mission was underway with the satellite separating from the launch vehicle. First signals from the satellite were acquired shortly thereafter through a ground station at Hassan, India. In the coming days, ViaSat-2 will start orbit raising with its chemical propulsion system, followed by solar array deployments, and will then switch over to its electric propulsion system to complete orbit raising over the coming months. Viasat expects it will take several months for [...]

Jun 1, 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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Apr 3, 2017|
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