Astranis Starts The Final Assembly Of Their Alaska Satellite Following Successful Test Of The SDR Payload – SatNews
astranis began final assembly of their satellite for Alaska, to be sent later this year to launch SpaceX rocket and initiating a geostationary orbit service (GEO) in early 2022 – this will be the first time Alaska has its own dedicated satellite providing broadband internet across the state.
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 payload hardware in all reception and transmission chains, including Low noise amplifiers (LNA), up converters, down converters, Travel wave amplifiers (TWTAs) and the Astranis ultra-wideband connection, Software defined radio (SDR) digital processor.
Software-defined radio Astranis is proprietary technology, fully designed, built and qualified by Astranis over the last four years and uses the latest technologies in digital signal processing to provide frequency flexibility in the 2.5 GHz spectrum, to create thousands of independently routing channels , maximizes spectral efficiency and allows for reconfiguration in orbit.
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 the former NASA administrator. Dan Goldin, and successful testing for full-scale prototype qualification, including vacuum, vibration and acoustics testing.
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.
Alaska’s satellite of Astranis, called Arcturus after the brightest star in the northern hemisphere, will serve as the first satellite of Pacific Dataport, Inc..‘s Aurora system.
Chief Executive Officer of Astranis John Hedmark said, “It’s hard to overestimate 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’ll end up delivering 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.. “
Chief Executive Officer 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. “