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Viasat real-time Earth antennas integrated on Microsoft Azure Orbital
Two Viasat RTE 7.3m S/X/Ka-band ground stations in Alice Springs, Australia. Image provided courtesy of Centre for Appropriate Technologies, Alice Springs Australia.
Viasat real-time Earth antennas integrated on Microsoft Azure Orbital
by Staff Writers
Carlsbad CA (SPX) Apr 19, 2023

Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, has announced through a collaboration with Microsoft Azure Orbital, the global Viasat Real-Time Earth (RTE) ground service is now accessible through the Azure marketplace. Five RTE sites will be equipped with high-speed connectivity directly to the Azure cloud platform.

Satellite operators are able to schedule passes on RTE antenna systems and will soon be able to rely on secure end-to-end connectivity with Azure over the private Microsoft WAN. This solution is ideal for commercial satellite operators seeking high throughput, low latency connectivity with their spacecraft, coupled with the security and resiliency of the cloud.

"Viasat Real-Time Earth is enabling remote sensing satellite operators who are pushing the envelope of high-rate downlinks," said John Williams, vice president Viasat Real-Time Earth. "Our strong relationship with Microsoft enables those same customers, through increased access to our ground service, Azure Orbital, and a dependable, high-speed terrestrial network, to reduce the time it takes to downlink and deliver massive amounts of data."

"The new capabilities Microsoft Azure Orbital brings together with Viasat RTE are transformational for ground stations and customers pushing for rapid innovation like True Anomaly," said Stephen Kitay, senior director, Azure Space at Microsoft. "This collaboration plays a role in increasing resiliency and reducing latency with real-time streaming across the space community."

Commercial satellite operators are moving towards higher and higher downlink rates, which brings down the cost of delivering data from space to the ground. To achieve this, many satellite operators have moved to Ka-band, which provides over three times more bandwidth than the traditional, and crowded, X-band spectrum for remote sensing missions. With Viasat, satellite operators flying electro-optical, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and hyperspectral payloads, gain access to an already established global network of Ka-band antennas for remote sensing missions.

Viasat RTE provides Ground-Station-as-a-Service (GSaaS) capabilities to connect commercial and government customers with their satellites on a pay-per-use basis. It is a fully-managed, cost-effective ground network that enables operators with geosynchronous orbit (GEO), medium earth orbit (MEO) and low earth orbit (LEO) satellites using the S-, X- and Ka-bands, to meet increasing data requirements.

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