Amplify constellation capabilities with crosslinking and satellite relays
Also known as "crosslinking," intersatellite communication allows satellites in a constellation to link to one another and relay data in space. Since small satellite constellations in low Earth orbit (LEO) are not in constant contact with the ground, intersatellite links allow data to be shared between adjacent satellites. Viasat offers several types of crosslinking solutions, including Ka-band and two types of V-band using a phased array antenna. By placing a miniature modem and router on each satellite, the constellation can have full transmit and receive capability for real-time data links.
Many satellites, or space vehicles, operating in LEO routinely collect data, such as Earth and weather observations, radar measurements and other science data, that must be sent back to Earth in real-time. In choosing how to transport this data back to Earth for analysis and distribution, satellite operators often must consider a tradeoff between data latency, the time between data collection to when it is received back on Earth, and cost. To overcome this issue, Viasat is developing a space relay capability to give LEO operators the ability to send data—in real-time, from all around the globe—over the upcoming ViaSat-3 geostationary orbit (GEO) network.
Viasat was recently selected by NASA to support its Communications Service Project (CSP), which seeks to accelerate the development of near-Earth communications by partnering with commercial satellite communication (SATCOM) providers.