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Ghana Space Science And Technology Institute, Viasat Launch First Real-Time Earth Ground Station In Africa

The first Real-Time Earth facility in Accra is being launched by Ghana Space Science and Technology (GSSTI) and Viasat Inc. This partnership hopes to bring new space opportunities and jobs to the region and be able to expand Viasat’s ability to deliver critical earth observation and remote sensing data on-demand around the world.

Viasat’s RTE satellite ground station facility is co-located at the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory, 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 with 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.

Viasat Inc worked in partnership with the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI), a government-based institution under Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), which is focused on coordinating all space, science, technology and related activities in Ghana. The new facility hopes to contribute to Africa’s Technology and Space Growth Initiatives, by promoting new space opportunities and local job creation through ongoing site management and maintenance. With this new station, Viasat’s RTE global network is now active in five continents.

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Eric Aggrey, research scientist and project manager of Ghana Radio Astronomy Project, GSSTI said, “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.”

“We knew we wanted to grow the network to cover Western Africa, and it was clear right away GSSTI was the best partner for us. It is a very professional organization that brings years of experience and expertise in antenna systems.
We were evaluating several different locations in Ghana because it was an area that our customers identified as a gap in coverage — not just for RTE but for almost every ground-service provider.
The Ghana site provides equatorial coverage and fills that gap in coverage for satellite operators looking to downlink imagery in a timely manner in this critical region of the world.”

Aaron Hawkins, Viasat RTE business manager

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.

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“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,” said John Williams, vice president, Real-Time Earth at Viasat. “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.”

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