Viasat announced today that the Viasat-2 satellite has successfully arrived in its geostationary orbit at 69.9° west longitude, and has transitioned into orbit normal mode (earth pointing) with its reflector and radiator deployments now complete.
The company also confirmed the satellite has commenced in-orbit testing, including the key milestone of the first end-to-end system test, with the Viasat-2 satellite transmitting and receiving data to and from the new ground segment.
Viasat-2 was launched by Arianespace from Kourou, French Guiana, on June 1, 2017.
The satellite employed a hybrid-propulsion approach, using both traditional chemical as well as electric propulsion.
The chemical propulsion subsystem was responsible for initial orbit raising and performed according to plan, setting the stage for the follow-on ascent to geostationary orbit using electric propulsion, which was completed last week.
Viasat spacecraft partner, Boeing Satellite Systems International, controlled and monitored Viasat-2 throughout the orbit raising process, flying the satellite from its Mission Control Centre in El Segundo, California.
Following completion of the in-orbit tests, the satellite is scheduled to enter commercial service in February 2018, where it will enable the delivery of advanced residential, enterprise, government and in-flight internet services.
Within days of reaching its geostationary orbit, the Viasat team was successfully transmitting data to and from the Viasat-2 satellite, as well as streaming content providing an early demonstration of the satellite’s power and flexibility.
Mark Dankberg, Chairman and CEO, Viasat, said: “This is a great achievement for the Viasat team, our customers and our partners
“The Viasat-2 system is the culmination of years of hard work and commitment to bringing a satellite platform to market that can deliver truly high-speed, high-quality broadband to many more people, and with a much greater geographic reach.
“We’re another step closer to bringing the Viasat-2 satellite into service.”
The satellite system is expected to significantly improve speeds, reduce costs and expand the footprint of broadband services across North America, Central America, the Caribbean and a portion of northern South America, as well as the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe.
Viasat-2 is a geostationary satellite that operates in Ka-band frequencies. It was designed to offer high-capacity connectivity and wide coverage, with the flexibility to move capacity to where demand requires it.
As compared to Viasat-1, Viasat-2 is expected to double the bandwidth, with more than 300 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of total network capacity, as well as provide seven times the broadband coverage.