Space relay comms to be provided to Air Force by ViaSatNews
June 08, 2023
CARLSBAD, California. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate has chosen ViaSat to offer on-orbit space relay connectivity for its ARBALEST program, the company announced in a statement.
The ARBALEST program seeks to aid a future space-based demonstration of operational capabilities for the Department of Defense (DoD), with the goal of providing real-time, global connectivity between DoD low Earth orbit (LEO) spacecraft and commercial geostationary (GEO) satellites, the statement reads.
The ARBALEST program and the projected AFRL-led mission will showcase the military utility of LEO space relay over commercial high throughput satellites, enabling space mission resilience, real-time data dissemination, command and control (C2), and the rapid retasking of government space vehicles, the company says. ViaSat will use their ViaSat-3 constellation, with three Ka-band terabit-class GEO satellites, to provide constant coverage for LEO spacecraft.