ViaSat’s seven-year contract is for the event of “prototype house methods.”
WASHINGTON — ViaSat, a supplier of satellite tv for pc communications and wi-fi networking know-how, acquired a $50.8 million contract from the Air Power Analysis Laboratory to develop a broad vary of house methods.
The Protection Division introduced the contract Feb. 2. The contract was first announced Nov. 20. A spokesperson advised SpaceNews on the time that the contract phrases had not but been finalized so the award could be reposted at a later day.
ViaSat is getting a seven-year contract for the event of “prototype house methods,” in accordance with the announcement. This covers research, design, manufacturing, integration, launch, flight and demonstration of satellites, floor terminals and different applied sciences. Beneath the contract, ViaSat would obtain “activity orders” for particular tasks over the seven years.
AFRL’s Area Automobiles Directorate, primarily based at Kirtland Air Power Base, New Mexico, has been working with ViaSat on different tasks. The corporate in May 2019 obtained a $10 million contract to construct a small satellite tv for pc geared up with a Hyperlink 16 army communications terminal that may function in low Earth orbit.
Hyperlink 16 is an encrypted radio frequency broadly utilized by the U.S. army and NATO allies to share data throughout the battlefield. ViaSat’s satellite tv for pc will function a community relay.
ViaSat has historically targeted on geostationary satellite-based communications however has been increasing into different areas equivalent to low-Earth orbit satellites, cybersecurity and community operations.
Viasat CEO Mark Dankberg advised analysts in an earnings name in November that the corporate sees the the AFRL Hyperlink 16 satellite tv for pc contract as a chance for progress within the tactical communications and house markets.
“The notion of extending the vary of Hyperlink 16 by means of house is admittedly fairly fascinating,” he mentioned. “The benefit is that there are lots of 1000’s and going into the tens of 1000’s and potential for tons of of 1000’s of gadgets which might be Hyperlink 16 succesful.”
If ViaSat had the chance to construct a fleet of satellites to do tactical networking, “we’re actually inquisitive about that,” mentioned Dankberg. “And we’ve got different functions that we’ve been working with authorities prospects that do contain that, that contain both sensing or communications satellites in house. And so I feel you’re going to see us do extra of that.”