Oftentimes, Viasat is considered a Ka-band satellite player only; however, Viasat has a near-global Ku-band network that allows its customers to tap into coverage that spans more than 90% of the world’s most popular flight paths. This near-global network is primarily used by business aviation, government, maritime and some commercial air customers.
In 2017, Viasat will launch Viasat-2, a satellite system so unique it would be the catalyst for connecting continents, people and places. It would be the precursor to delivering ultimate internet experiences anywhere on the planet, where continuous, high-speed global connectivity was not a theory but a fact. Viasat-2 would foretell the future of a truly connected world, and would show how Viasat's work was not done ... but just beginning.
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 payload fairing (nose cone) will be attached to complete the vehicle for flight.
Viasat partnered with Boeing Satellite Systems for the construction of Viasat-2, which is scheduled to launch from French Guiana on June 1. Viasat had an opportunity to sit down with Ron Dukat, Viasat-2 program director at Boeing, to ask five questions about the Company’s partnership with Viasat, features of the Viasat-2 satellite and future endeavors.
Viasat: How did the partnership between Viasat and Boeing originate for Boeing to construct the Viasat-2 satellite?
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:
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.