CARLSBAD, Calif., April 6, 2023 -- Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, today announced that it debuted its new Mercury Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) terminal during the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Technical Experimentation (TE) event on March 21, 2023 in Avon Park, Florida. SOCOM conducts TE events across the United States with participation from government, academia, and private industry organizations, providing a unique opportunity for technology developers to interact with the Special Operations Forces community. The new free space optics (FSO) solution was designed to support terrestrial, expeditionary applications, including SOCOM use cases.
The Viasat Mercury solution is an expeditionary, high-capacity FSOC link with an automated pointing, acquisition, and tracking (PAT) system, offering military operators lower signature communications at the quick-halt. Mercury is based upon advanced commercial-off-the-shelf technology, leveraging substantial industry investment towards bringing a high-performance, resilient, and cost-effective capability to better support warfighting operations at the edge.
The Mercury terminal integrates state-of-the-art optical terminal technology with an industry-leading PAT gimbal and user-oriented control and management interface to offer a FSOC system that will offer substantially higher range and throughput than other solutions in the tactical environment. The Viasat FSOC solution will deliver data rates up to 40 Gigabits per second (Gbps), have a range of up to 70 Kilometers (km) for terrestrial applications, and be highly resistant to jamming, spoofing and electro-magnetic interference when compared to RF systems. By leveraging a dual-stage continuous active line-of-sight tracking system, Mercury will be deployable to support multiple expeditionary communications environments including Ground-to-Ground, Ground-to-Air, Ship-to-Ship, and Ship-to-Shore.
“We are very excited about the debut of the Mercury FSOC terminal during the SOCOM TE event and sharing the unique capability it can bring to edge communications. Free Space Optics offers the benefits of fiber optic cable communications without the need to run the cable,” said Craig Miller, president of Viasat Government Systems. “As the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) seeks to gain an advantage through increasingly reliable and low detection communications, we are investing in FSO as part of a resilient multi-transport network. The Mercury terminal is designed as a high-capacity and low-cost solution for the DoD, and this is the first platform for terrestrial use as we continue to invest in comms-on-the-move capabilities across sea, air and space.”
Viasat developed the Mercury terminal to address DoD requests for FSO capabilities that will enable warfighters to operate high-bandwidth links across significant distances in an LPI/LPD environment. Modern electronic warfare effects can disrupt radio frequency communications in contested near-peer environments, but FSO offers a communications pathway outside the RF spectrum.
Visit the Viasat website for more information on Viasat the Mercury terminal and FSOC solutions.
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 35 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, 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. To learn more about Viasat, visit: www.viasat.com, go to Viasat’s Corporate Blog, or follow the Company on social media at: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements about the capabilities, features and benefits of the Mercury Free Space Optical Communications terminal to be offered by Viasat. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: new and increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity attacks; contractual problems, product or software defects, regulatory issues, technologies that do not perform according to expectations; delays in approving U.S. government budgets and cuts in government defense expenditures; and increased competition and other factors affecting the government and defense sectors generally. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in Viasat’s SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including Viasat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Viasat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.
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