Viasat real-time space relay
Intersatellite communication leveraging Viasat's advanced space, ground, and networking infrastructure for real-time, global data transfer
Also known as "crosslinking," intersatellite communication allows satellites in a constellation to link to one another and relay data in space. Since small satellite constellations in low Earth orbit (LEO) are not in constant contact with the ground, intersatellite links allow data to be shared between adjacent satellites. Viasat offers several types of crosslinking solutions, including Ka-band and two types of V-band using a phased array antenna. By placing a miniature modem and router on each satellite, the constellation can have full transmit and receive capability for real-time data links.
Many satellites, or space vehicles, operating in LEO routinely collect data, such as Earth and weather observations, radar measurements and other science data, that must be sent back to Earth in real-time. In choosing how to transport this data back to Earth for analysis and distribution, satellite operators often must consider a tradeoff between data latency, the time between data collection to when it is received back on Earth, and cost. To overcome this issue, Viasat is developing a space relay capability that is intended to give LEO operators the ability to send data — in real-time, from all around the globe — over the planned ViaSat-3 geostationary orbit (GEO) network.
Viasat's real-time space relay solution brings together the best of our space, ground, and networking technologies to serve near-Earth space users. At the heart of the solution is our planned global ViaSat-3 constellation, anticipated to deliver 1Tbps capacity/satellite for secure, reliable, and scalable throughput. Our space terminals are expected to deliver a turnkey space relay solution, providing all the network and radio hardware necessary to access the ViaSat-3 constellation — and our growing real-time earth ground station network provides fast, reliable downlinks across 6 continents, allowing satellite operators to command, downlink, and rapidly disseminate GEO, LEO, and MEO data in a timely and secure manner with real-time streaming to your end point of choice
With the pending ViaSat-3 launch, Viasat's real-time space relay capabilities are expected to further enhance our fast, flexible, and scalable solutions.
Viasat was recently selected by NASA to support its Communications Service Project (CSP), which seeks to accelerate the development of near-Earth communications by partnering with commercial satellite communication (SATCOM) providers.