Viasat Inc. a global leader in satellite communications, announced it has joined the Space Cluster on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus as it seeks new technology and research partnerships in the UK.
Harwell is home to the largest concentration of space expertise in the UK, with more than 1,400 people employed across over 100 private and public sector organizations, including the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency. Harwell estimates that the space industry contributes £5.7 billion to UK GDP.
With the opening of a new office at the Harwell Campus, Viasat is demonstrating its intent to play an active role within the UK’s space ecosystem while contributing its expertise in space-based broadband communications to the Harwell community.
“The Harwell Space Cluster is widely recognized as an integral part of the UK’s space sector, bringing together dynamic, innovative organizations from across the UK and European Union,” said Rick Baldridge, Viasat’s president and CEO. “We are looking to build relationships in the UK that can help add value and new capabilities to our global ViaSat-3 constellation of satellites, which will extend broadband internet service to the hardest-to-reach places in the world. We look forward to creating alliances with UK organizations in areas such as space safety and sustainability, encryption and data security, terminal development and more.”
The first of three ViaSat-3 high-capacity satellites is scheduled for launch later this year. The constellation is expected to deliver over 3 Terabits per second (Tbps) of total network capacity, or roughly eight times the capacity of Viasat’s current fleet.
“We are delighted to have Viasat join the Harwell Campus,” said Dr. Joanna Hart, development manager, Harwell Space Cluster. “It is an innovative communications company known for working with growing start-ups in the satellite and space community. Viasat will be able to access the world-leading space research and technology we offer, spotting valuable commercial opportunities and next-generation innovations.”
The Harwell Campus is interested in capitalizing on the rapid changes in space technology, and building links with other international space clusters, to help the UK achieve its National Space Strategy goal: to be 10% of the global space-related economy by 2030. BCS Bureau