Press Release

NASA Funds Space Communication Testbed Project for Comsat Laboratories

By SpaceRef Editor
July 7, 2005
Filed under , ,

Comsat Laboratories, a division of ViaSat Inc. , has won a contract from NASA to design and deliver a Space Communications Testbed (SCT) that emulates the nodes and links comprising an end-to-end inter-planetary communication network. Comsat Labs’ bid was selected from a large number of proposals, as part of the Technology Maturation Program under Exploration Systems Research and Technology (ESR&T), a Division of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate that is developing systems for space exploration to the Moon, Mars and beyond. The contract award for a 12-month Phase 1 development is $3.7 million of which Comsat Laboratories as prime receives $2.3 million and the remaining $1.4 million is divided among NASA Glenn Research Center, Jet Propulsion Lab/California Institute of Technology, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and NASA Langley Research Center.

The SCT is a combination of software and hardware modules that emulate communication elements in remote surface platforms, planetary orbiters, relay satellites, earth orbit satellites, earth stations, and user clients. NASA expects to use the SCT to test, validate, and optimize communication links, protocol stacks, operational parameters, and mission applications using time varying emulated channel characteristics and mission traffic profiles. Later phases of the SCT program are planned to provide additional benefits by also serving as a vehicle for testing new and emerging communication technologies and as a platform for testing various mission operation scenarios.

“This program supports President Bush’s vision for future space exploration. We are obviously very excited to be part of the technology development team to help NASA realize this vision,” said Dr. Prakash Chitre, vice president and general manager of Comsat Laboratories.

Comsat Laboratories, based in Clarksburg, MD, has a 37-year track record as an independent, premier satellite communications and networking R&D laboratory. Comsat Laboratories provides advanced communications systems, technology, products and consulting services for both government and commercial customers throughout the world.

About ViaSat (

ViaSat produces innovative satellite and other communication products that enable fast, secure, and efficient communications to any location. Products include satellite ground equipment, information security devices, tactical data radios, and communication simulators. ViaSat has a full line of VSAT products and services for data and voice applications, and is a market leader in Ka-band satellite systems, from user terminals to large gateways. In addition to Comsat Laboratories, ViaSat has locations in Carlsbad, CA, and Norcross, GA,. Additional field offices are located in Boston, MA, Washington DC, Australia, Italy, China, Spain, and India.

In addition, ViaSat’s wholly-owned subsidiary, U.S. Monolithics, designs and produces monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) and modules for use in broadband communications. USM is based in Chandler, Arizona.

Safe Harbor Statement

Portions of this release, particularly statements about the capabilities of SCT and future development phases, may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. ViaSat wishes to caution you that there are some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or from any results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: ViaSat’s ability to perform under existing contracts and obtain additional contracts, ViaSat’s ability to develop new products that gain market acceptance, changes in product supply, pricing and customer demand, changes in relationships with, or the financial condition of, key customers or suppliers, changes in government regulations, changes in economic conditions globally and in the communications markets in particular, increased competition, potential product liability, infringement and other claims, and other factors affecting the communications industry generally. ViaSat refers you to the documents it files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the section titled Factors That May Affect Future Performance in ViaSat’s Form 10-Ks and subsequent Form 10-Qs. These documents contain and identify other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements. Stockholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. We undertake no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.

Comsat Labs and Comsat Laboratories are tradenames of ViaSat, Inc. Neither Comsat Labs nor Comsat Laboratories is affiliated with COMSAT Corporation. “Comsat” is a registered trademark of COMSAT Corporation.

SpaceRef staff editor.