Power anomaly detected on I-6 satellite

Viasat has confirmed that it has detected a power anomaly on its newly launched Inmarsat-6 F2 (I6 F2) satellite, which is currently being investigated. The satellite has not entered service, so safety and connectivity services for Inmarsat customers will remain unaffected.

“I-6 F2 was a planned future satellite for our Fleet Safety service. Our Inmarsat C service is not aligned or reliant on I-6 F2 capabilities,” Inmarsat said, in a statement.

“In addition to the existing L-band fleet, including the fully operational twin I-6 F1 satellite launched a year earlier, Viasat has a further three L-band satellites, the recently announced Inmarsat-8 fleet, under construction to strengthen the company’s global safety services.”

The power subsystem anomaly was detected on the I6 F2, which was launched on February 18, 2023, during its orbit raising phase. At this stage, Viasat and Airbus, the satellite’s manufacturer, are working to determine the root cause of the anomaly and assess whether the satellite will be able to perform its mission.

I6 F2 also included four Gbps of additional Ka-band capacity, which was added to the satellite to provide further flexibility to the Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band fleet. In addition to the 11 existing Ka-band satellites in service for the combined company, Viasat says it already has seven more Ka-band satellites under construction.

The company also notes that manufacturing and launch costs of the I6 F2 satellite were insured and that the issue is not expected to impact the company’s financial performance. The twin Inmarat-6 F1 satellite (I6 F1), launched in December 2021, remains operational and continues to perform as expected.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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