Astranis has started construction of the next four small geostationary communication satellites for new customers
Press release from: astranis
Published: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Astranis announced today that it has begun construction of four new small geostationary communications satellites, three of which are already being discussed as part of signed deals with new, as yet unannounced customers. To begin production of these four satellites, Astranis has contracted with many of its major component suppliers, committing to more than $ 30 million to begin sourcing long lead hardware, confirm delivery dates and expedite deadlines. The list of suppliers includes trusted suppliers of aerospace equipment L3 Harris Technologies, RUAG Schweiz AG, Aitech Systems, Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace AS and Moog, Inc.
This next production unit of the Astranis satellites includes an improved payload that leads to higher performance and various bus improvements that extend the life of the satellite. Overall, Astranis expects these satellites to offer 15% longer life and 20% more performance than their first-generation model without increasing the cost of satellite hardware.
“We innovate fast,” said Astranis CEO John Gedmark. “This next block of four satellites contains some significant improvements, and we have a lot more of where that came from.”
While Astranis develops its own core technology, such as software-defined radio, it procures critical components from a number of highly qualified aerospace suppliers. Astranis has provided traveling wave amplifiers (TWTA) from L3Harris Technologies Electron Devices Division; structural panels from RUAG Schweiz AG; flight computers from Aitech Systems; Telemetry, Telemetry, Tracking and Control (TT&C) radios from Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace AS; and monopropellant engines from Moog, Inc. These suppliers are trusted partners of Astranis, as these components have also been used by the Astranis satellite in Alaska, which will begin operating in early 2022.
Three of the four satellites in Astranis’ next production unit have been booked by customers on recently signed deals, which are yet to be announced. “We’re excited to announce more details about customers for these satellites in the coming weeks.” Gedmark said, “Stay tuned. Things are about to get really exciting. “
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 geostationary orbit (GEO) with a next-generation design of only 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.
Astranis has successfully launched a test satellite into orbit and is currently running its first commercial program – a satellite to provide broadband internet for Alaska, which will triple the available bandwidth across the country. This satellite is now in final assembly and is scheduled to be launched later in 2021.
The company is headquartered in San Francisco with a team of over 150, including wHorde-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.
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