Viasat Inc., a global communications company, in partnership with the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI), has announced the launch of its first Real-Time Earth (RTE) facility in Africa, located in Accra, Ghana.
Viasat worked in partnership with the GSSTI, a government-based institution under Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), focused on coordinating all space, science, technology and related activities in Ghana, to bring new space opportunities and jobs to the region.
The recent station in Ghana underscored Viasat’s ability to deliver critical earth observation and remote sensing data on-demand around the world, the company said in a statement. With this new station, Viasat’s RTE global network is now active on five continents.
Viasat RTE provides Ground-Station-as-a-Service (GSaaS) capabilities in support of environmental, insurance, shipping, energy and government operations. It is a fully-managed, affordable ground network that supports next-generation and legacy geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO), medium earth orbit (MEO) and low earth orbit (LEO) satellites using the S-, X-, and Ka-bands, enabling operators to meet current and future data requirements, the tech company disclosed in a statement.
Viasat’s RTE satellite ground station facility
Specifically, in Ghana, Viasat’s RTE satellite ground station facility is located at the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory in Kuntunse. It includes a Viasat full-motion 7.3M S/X/Ka-band antenna and associated infrastructure.
The antenna is currently ready to provide global satellite operators the ability to perform Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) capabilities as well as rapidly download, stream and/or disseminate valuable satellite-based data in a timely and secure manner.
John Williams, Vice President, Real-Time Earth at Viasat stated that the new RTE ground station, located in Ghana, is part of Viasat’s strategic growth plan for a global RTE ground service network, with prior operations already located in North America, South America, Australia and Europe.
“By working in partnership with GSSTI, we have opened a state-of-the-art RTE facility, bringing jobs and economic growth to the region, while further differentiating Viasat’s service through our ability to provide satellite operators access to world-class antenna systems for high-speed RTE connectivity of payload data across a secure network”.John Williams
Boost for the Ghanaian economy
Eric Aggrey, research scientist and project manager of Ghana Radio Astronomy Project at the GSSTI, believes the launch of the new station presents huge opportunities for Ghana’s economy.
“The development of Viasat’s new antenna site has been an extremely positive opportunity for the people and economy of Ghana. We have positively grown our presence in the global space and technology sector and look forward to expanding our relationship with Viasat to bring additional new space opportunities, technologies and skillsets to Africa”.Eric Aggrey
The Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) is Ghana’s Centre of Excellence for research and innovation in Astronomy, Remote Sensing, Climate, and Satellite Instrumentation. Viasat, on the other hand, “is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected”. Currently, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea.