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Viasat Selected by European Space Agency to Conduct Multi-Layered SATCOM Study

July 26, 2022

Viasat UK Ltd., announced it was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to conduct a multi-layered Satellite Communication (SATCOM) study focused on evaluating the use cases, market segments and technical aspects of these future systems, which will be comprised of networks that span multiple orbital types including Geostationary Equatorial Orbit (GEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), Low Earth Orbit (LEO), High Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS) and others, as well as include various frequency bands, satellite operators and network designs.

Multi-layered, hybrid networks are increasingly being explored as an enabler of enhanced communications agility and performance, as well as a provider of critical resilience to protect against potential disruptions or attacks. This new research, which will be conducted over the next year, will look to answer some fundamental questions around the future implementation and use of multi-layered networks. This includes examining the current technology trends and assessing different markets that would most benefit from multi-layered SATCOM system applications.  Additionally, the research will analyze existing layered SATCOM networks to evaluate the approach, benefits and limitations for those market segment applications.

The study will explore a system design that supports the full range of both current and future satellite service types, increased spectral efficiency, and interoperability. It will involve several tasks to assess the current market and technologies, develop system requirements and trade-off exercises, modelling and simulation, further analyses and provision of a future roadmap.

"We are excited to collaborate with ESA on this research project to further the collective understanding of multi-layered networks and how they can increase capability, resilience, and performance for end-users across commercial and government," said John Reeves, managing director of Viasat UK. "As a SATCOM provider serving multiple markets, we see tremendous potential in using multi-layered space networks for different sectors and mission use cases. Our work with ESA will consider all different types of orbital satellites, networks and frequency bands and ultimately provide recommendations to guide the formation, technical needs and use of these future multi-layered networks."

This research program is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2023 and could offer UK, European and allied nations important guidance on a pathway toward developing and harnessing the potential of resilient multi-layered SATCOM capabilities.

CNES announces the winners of micro and mini launcher operators to operate from the Guiana Space Center

At the end of 2021, CNES launched a call for applications to host micro and mini-launchers at the Guiana Space Centre, thus expressing, in close collaboration with ESA, its desire to open Europe's spaceport to new operators.

Among the applications received, 7 winners were pre-selected throughout Europe, including 2 French (1): AVIO SPA (Italy), HyImpulse Technologies GmbH (Germany), ISAR Aerospace (Germany), MAIA Space (France), Payload Aerospace (Spain), Rocket Factory (Germany), Latitude (ex-Venture Orbital Systems, France). Other operators may be pre-selected during a subsequent complementary call for applications, in particular according to the reception capacities identified at the CSG.


CNES is particularly pleased with the presence, among the shortlisted, of the French companies MAIA and Latitude (formerly Venture Orbital Systems), an illustration of the dynamism of the national industrial fabric that CNES has been stimulating for a long time.

With the advent of the New Space and the corresponding prospects on the international commercial market, there is a flourishing interest in the development of new micro and mini-launcher systems. The Guiana Space Center located in Kourou, French Guiana, offers a particularly favorable geographical location for the realization of certain launches as well as a long experience of more than 50 years in this field. The welcome of these new commercial operators is part of the transformation that Europe's spaceport is currently undergoing and demonstrates its strong attractiveness.

The Diamant site has been selected by CNES to welcome these new micro/mini-launchers. Its facilities will be composed of common means (access road, energy supply, etc.) that can be used for several launchers, as well as means specific to each launcher (launch table, assembly building, etc.).

Following the pre-selection of these operators, CNES will gradually enter into discussions with each of them, depending on the respective technical and financial progress of their project, for the signing of a preliminary agreement defining the principles and conditions of their reception at the CSG. This signature will thus formalize their selection, before the signing of contracts for the implementation of the means



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