intersatellite communications over earth

Viasat real-time space relay

Intersatellite communication leveraging Viasat's advanced space, ground, and networking infrastructure for real-time, global data transfer

man planning intersatellite communications

Viasat enables real-time data links through intersatellite communication

Also known as "crosslinking," intersatellite communication allows satellites in a constellation to link to one another and relay data in space. Since small satellite constellations in low Earth orbit (LEO) are not in constant contact with the ground, intersatellite links allow data to be shared between adjacent satellites. Viasat offers several types of crosslinking solutions, including Ka-band and two types of V-band using a phased array antenna. By placing a miniature modem and router on each satellite, the constellation can have full transmit and receive capability for real-time data links.

space crosslinks

Cost-effective data relay capabilities for LEO operators

Many satellites, or space vehicles, operating in LEO routinely collect data, such as Earth and weather observations, radar measurements and other science data, that must be sent back to Earth in real-time. In choosing how to transport this data back to Earth for analysis and distribution, satellite operators often must consider a tradeoff between data latency, the time between data collection to when it is received back on Earth, and cost. To overcome this issue, Viasat is developing a space relay capability that is intended to give LEO operators the ability to send data — in real-time, from all around the globe — over the planned ViaSat-3 geostationary orbit (GEO) network.

satellite in space

Leveraging the combined power of our satellite fleet, real-time earth, and networking solutions

Viasat's innovative space relay solution combines our leading-edge space technologies, ground systems, and network capabilities, aimed at enhancing communication for near-Earth space users and supporting satellite operator needs. This comprehensive approach is designed to deliver high throughput capabilities, ensuring secure, reliable, and scalable connections for data transport. Our solution includes turnkey advanced space terminals that provide a complete suite for accessing our sophisticated constellation network. Coupled with our extensive real-time Earth ground station network spanning 6 continents, we enable satellite operators to efficiently manage, downlink, and swiftly distribute data from GEO, LEO, and MEO satellites. This ensures timely and secure real-time streaming to any designated endpoint, reinforcing our commitment to facilitating superior space-to-space communications.

earth overview of space

Expanding horizons with InCommand

As part of Viasat's commitment to pioneering advancements in space communication, we introduce "InCommand" – a service designed to seamlessly integrate with our space relay system. InCommand enhances our intersatellite communications by providing an additional layer of flexibility and control for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite operations. InCommand works in tandem with our Real-Time Space Relay (RTSR) system, offering a robust solution for on-demand satellite command and control. This service ensures continuous, near real-time communication with GEO satellite infrastructure, facilitating rapid tasking and data transmission for LEO satellites. InCommand's dynamic bandwidth allocation and low latency capabilities make it a game-changer for satellite operators seeking efficient and reliable space-based command and control.

A fast, flexible, and scalable solution for near-earth operators

With the pending ViaSat-3 launch, Viasat's real-time space relay capabilities are expected to further enhance our fast, flexible, and scalable solutions.

Real-time data transfer

  • On-demand access to critical data
  • Low  latency for time-critical data, allowing you to send/receive in real-time
  • Up to 100 GB/orbit | commercial Ka-bands

Flexible and resilient architecture

  • Maintain custody of SV even when it isn’t in view of a ground station 
  • Adaptable  transport selection (RTE/SR)
  • Seamless interoperability across networks, supporting  S/X/Ka bands
  • Optimized for mission and TT&C data

Scalable solutions

  • Leverages our growing global network of real-time earth ground stations and high-capacity satellites to deliver  persistent, global coverage over poles, oceans, and remote areas
  • High-capacity satellites combined with high-speed downlinks help maximize throughput

Viasat has been selected to deliver real-time, near-Earth communications for NASA CSP

Viasat was recently selected by NASA to support its Communications Service Project (CSP), which seeks to accelerate the development of near-Earth communications by partnering with commercial satellite communication (SATCOM) providers.

earth's horizon