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Viasat joining Harwell Space Cluster to drive innovation

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As part of its search for new technological and research collaborations, Viasat Inc., a global leader in satellite communications, has joined the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus’s Space Cluster. Viasat is proving its willingness to play an active part in the UK’s space ecosystem by building a new office at the Harwell Campus, while also providing its expertise in space-based broadband communications to the Harwell community.


Harwell is home to the UK’s largest concentration of space knowledge, with over 1,400 people working across over 100 private and public sector enterprises, including the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency. The space sector, according to Harwell, provides £5.7 billion annually to the UK economy.


The Harwell Space Cluster, according to Viasat, is generally recognized as a critical aspect of the UK’s space sector, bringing together innovative enterprises from throughout the UK and the European Union. Viasat hopes to build contacts in the United Kingdom that will help it add value and new capabilities to its global ViaSat-3 satellite system, which will deliver broadband internet to the world’s most remote regions.


The business is looking forward to forming relationships with UK companies in areas such as space safety and sustainability, encryption and data security and terminal development. The first of three high-capacity satellites, ViaSat-3, is scheduled to be launched later this year. The constellation will have a total network capacity of more than 3 Terabits per second (Tbps), roughly eight times that of Viasat’s current fleet.


Dr. Joanna Hart, development manager, Harwell Space Cluster, commented: “We are delighted to have Viasat join the Harwell Campus. 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.”