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Dankberg teases ViaSat-4 specs, still mulling MEO constellation

16 Oct 2019, 20:10 UTC
Dankberg teases ViaSat-4 specs, still mulling MEO constellation
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Viasat says that co-building its ViaSat-3 satellites with Boeing has given the company experience it can leverage to multiply the capacity achievable with a next-generation ViaSat-4 system.
“It’s really the first generation of a satellite constellation that will be integrated in this way,” Viasat CEO Mark Dankberg said of the three ViaSat-3 satellites it has under construction, each of which will carry a terabit or more of capacity. “We just wanted to show how we can get another factor of four, five, or six out of very straightforward evolutions of what we’re doing.”
Viasat is building the payloads for its trio of ViaSat-3 satellites in its own clean room in Tempe, Arizona, and relying on Boeing for the spacecraft platforms. The first of the three is projected to launch in 2021, over the Americas.
Viasat hasn’t set a launch date for the first ViaSat-4, but Dankberg, speaking at the Satellite Innovation conference, said the company wanted “to make the point that Viasat-3 wasn’t the end state of what we’re trying to do.”
Dankberg said Viasat’s willingness to be so involved in building its satellites gives the company an advantage over competing operators.
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