Viasat, a global leader in satellite communications, has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing for the second satellite in the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission. The project aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to the Arctic region. The mission, led by Heosat, a subsidiary of Space Norway, will deploy two satellites in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO) – a first for commercial broadband service.
The two satellites, named ASBM-1 and ASBM-2, will carry Viasat’s GX-10a and GX-10b Ka-band payloads. These satellites will expand Viasat’s global network coverage to include the Arctic region. In addition to Viasat’s payloads, the satellites will also host payloads for the Norwegian Armed Forces and the US Space Force.
The Arctic region has a growing need for connectivity, serving various sectors such as governments, shipping companies, commercial airlines, and scientists. The deployment of these satellites will contribute to meeting these connectivity demands. Viasat’s investments in its network have enabled the company to provide flexibility, coverage, and interoperability to connect users worldwide.
After the thermal vacuum testing, the ASBM-1 and ASBM-2 spacecraft will undergo final testing and readiness activities before being transferred to Vandenberg Space Force Base in California for launch in mid-2024. The specific launch schedule will be announced by the company at a later date.
In summary, Viasat’s completion of thermal vacuum testing for the second satellite in the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission marks an important milestone towards providing high-speed broadband connectivity to the Arctic region. The satellites, ASBM-1 and ASBM-2, will host Viasat’s Ka-band payloads and extend coverage beyond geostationary satellites. The mission aims to meet the growing connectivity needs of various sectors in the Arctic, including governments, shipping companies, and scientists.