Capabilities of ViaSat-3

After the cyber attack on Viasat systems, the company have become very vigilant in satellite manufacturing. One of the organisation’s latest satellites is building Via Sat 3, which will be a game-changer in the connectivity domain. The company is going to launch three satellites which are for America, Europe and the Asian continents. Viasat-3 will launch the first satellite for North America, where the company is working with Boeing. The launch is scheduled for next year, and the launch vehicle used will be SpaceX Falcon.

Some of the capabilities of the satellites are highlighted below: 

The bird will work on the land, in the air, at sea, and beyond; the worldwide ViaSat-3 constellation will provide people, companies, and governments with the capacity never before seen. ViaSat 3 will work in Ka-band and have a better transmitting speed than ViaSat-2, launched in 2017. Each ViaSat-3 satellite can offer download rates of up to 100 Mbps and transmit at most minuscule 1 Terabit of data per second. Additionally, the satellite’s weight is anticipated to be around 6.4 tons. To understand the onboard power capability,  eight solar panels have been added to the conventional 702MP’s four. These solar cells have powered more than 1,000 spacecraft all around the world and are comparable to those used in the first Apollo lunar missions. These satellites will each have 20kW of power, making them among the highest-powered satellites ever built.

The mechanical and environmental testing of the ViaSat-3 satellite has begun, mimicking the vibration and acoustic settings the spacecraft will encounter throughout its launch and first stages of its transfer orbit. According to Viasat, the total capacity of the satellites in its current fleet is close to 500 Gbps. ViaSat-3 will use some of the most prominent reflectors ever sent into orbit to boost signal strength. In addition, the total number of solar panels on each wing of each satellite will be eight, giving ViaSat-3 a 44-meter overall wingspan.

The launch was scheduled for last year, but there was a delay by the vendor, which pushed the launch date. After referring to many resources, one of the observations I have made here is that there are no specifications for the cyber security of the satellite. The company is, however, making sure the ground station/gateways are becoming resilient with every new generation of satellites being launched. Unfortunately, with new age satellites being launched for the betterment of humanity, the critical aspect of cyber security is being missed, which should also be focused on equally.