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  • Satellite Evolution

Astranis has started building its next four small geostationary communications satellites

Artists concept of twin Astranis satellites providing service from GEO. Credit: Astranis

Astranis announced today that it has started to build four new small geostationary communications satellites, three of which are already spoken for under signed deals with new, yet-to-be-announced customers. To kick off the manufacturing of these four satellites, Astranis has placed orders with many of its major component suppliers, committing over US$30 million to start procuring long-lead hardware, confirm delivery dates, and accelerate timelines. The list of suppliers includes trusted aerospace vendors L3 Harris Technologies, RUAG Schweiz AG, Aitech Systems, Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace AS, and Moog, Inc.

This next production block of Astranis satellites includes an upgraded payload that drives higher throughput and various bus improvements that extend satellite lifetime. In total, Astranis expects these satellites will offer 15 percent greater lifetime and 20 percent greater throughput than their first-generation model, without increasing satellite hardware cost.

“We are innovating fast,” said Astranis CEO John Gedmark. “This next block of four satellites contains some significant upgrades, and we have much more where this came from.”

While Astranis develops proprietary core technology such as the Software-Defined Radio, it procures mission-critical components from a number of highly accomplished aerospace vendors. Astranis has secured Traveling Wave Tube Power Amplifiers (TWTAs) from L3Harris Technologies Electron Devices Division; structural panels from RUAG Schweiz AG; flight computers from Aitech Systems; Telemetry, Tracking, and Control (TT&C) radios from Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace AS; and monopropellant thrusters from Moog, Inc. These vendors are trusted Astranis partners, as these components were also used by Astranis’s Alaska satellite, which will begin service in early 2022.

Three of the four satellites in this next Astranis production block are reserved by customers under recently inked deals that are still to be announced. “We are excited to announce additional details about the customers for these satellites in the coming weeks.” Gedmark said: “Stay tuned. Things are about to get really exciting.”


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