Astranis Begins Final Assembly of Alaska Satellite Following Successful Test of Software-Defined Radio Payload | Business


Astranis, the company that builds the next generation of telecommunications satellites, announced today that it has begun final assembly of its satellite for Alaska. The satellite is scheduled to be sent later this year to launch a SpaceX rocket and begin geostationary orbit (GEO) service in early 2022. This will be the first time Alaska has ever had its own specialized satellite. providing broadband internet throughout the country.

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Astrak’s satellite of Astranis in the clean room of their facility in San Francisco. (Photo: Business Wire)

The start of final assembly is an important milestone in the production of Astranis’ first commercial satellite and follows a successful end-to-end payload test that showed a capacity 20% higher than the specification. The end-to-end payload test was an integrated test of the flight load hardware in the full reception and transmission circuits, including low noise amplifiers (LNA), up-converters, down-converters, travel-power amplifiers (TWTA). and the software-defined Astranis Ultra-Broadband Digital Processor. Software-defined Astranis radio is a patented technology, fully designed, built and meeting the space requirements of Astranis for the last four years. It uses the latest technology in digital signal processing to provide frequency flexibility in the 2.5 GHz spectrum, to create thousands of independent routable channels, to maximize spectral efficiency and to allow reconfiguration of the orbit.

Astranis CEO John Gedmark said: “It’s hard to overstate the importance of this test for satellite performance: we expected to be able to deliver 7.5 Gbps to Alaska, and it looks like we will end up delivering up to 20% more or about 10 Gbps. This means that the Astranis-PDI partnership will provide affordable broadband to so many more people. The Astranis technical team did an amazing job of getting us here, and we are excited to start the service soon. “

This end-to-end payload test follows months of rigorous testing and review to ensure the program’s success, including a critical design review organized by former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin and a successful qualification testing of a full scale prototype, including testing for vacuum, vibration and acoustics.

Given Alaska’s rugged terrain and remote settlements, the state has long faced one of the sharpest digital divisions in the United States. According to Broadband Now, 39% of Alaska residents are underserved when it comes to Internet access – the highest percentage of all states. The Astranis satellite will approximately triple the current satellite capacity in Alaska, while reducing costs by up to a third of current prices for both home and wholesale customers.

The CEO of Pacific Dataport Inc. Chuck Schumann said: “The PDI team is very pleased with Astranis’ steady, methodical progress in delivering this much-needed and game-changing satellite into orbit. We know that Astranis is working around the clock to ensure that this program is a huge success, and it is inspiring to see such a strong, concerted effort aimed at a country traditionally neglected by the big satellite players. This Astranis satellite was created for Alaska and we are looking forward to seeing it head to our orbital location directly in line with Alaska. “

Astranis’ Alaska satellite, named Arcturus after the brightest star in the northern hemisphere, will serve as the first satellite of Pacific Dataport, Inc.’s Aurora system.

For Astranis

Astranis is building small, low-cost telecommunications satellites to connect the four billion people who currently do not have Internet access. Each spacecraft operates from a geostationary orbit (GEO) with a next-generation design of just 400 kg, using its own software-defined radio payload. This unique digital payload technology allows frequency and coverage flexibility as well as maximum use of valuable spectrum. By owning and operating its satellites and offering them to customers as a turnkey solution, Astranis is able to provide bandwidth as a service and unlock hitherto unattainable markets. This allows Astranis to launch small, specialized satellites for small and medium-sized countries, Fortune 500 companies, existing satellite operators and other customers.

The company is headquartered in San Francisco with a team of over 150, including world-class engineers from SpaceX, Boeing, Skybox, Qualcomm, Apple and Google. Astranis has raised over $ 350 million from top Silicon Valley and growth investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Venrock and BlackRock.

About the Pacific Data Port

PACIFIC DATAPORT INC. (PDI), based in Anchorage, Alaska, is focused on providing affordable broadband to the middle and last mile using the latest satellite technology. PDI clients include telecommunications (wired and wireless); health clinics, schools; libraries, governments (tribal, local, state, and federal); and local corporations, villages and tribes in Alaska. PDI has launched the Astranis GEO HTS satellite as part of the Aurora project, designed to provide broadband to all of Alaska. The Aurora network will increase Alaska’s broadband capacity to deliver a more affordable, high-quality broadband connection to ALL Alaska, regardless of location.

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CONTACT: Christian Keel



SOURCE: Astranis

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 08.07.2021 08:00 h. / DISK: 08.07.2021 08:02 h

Copyright Business Wire 2021.