Lockheed Martin is planning to deploy a dish antenna network across the country to support the company's Verge ground station intended to handle low-Earth orbit satellite communications, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.
Joseph Portale, a senior program manager at Lockheed's space systems business, said during the Satellite 2019 event in Washington, D.C. that the company aims to integrate the Verge network with an Amazon Web Services cloud environment and implement a “pay-by-the minute“ framework.
Portale noted that Lockheed is working to rapidly extend the network beyond the continental U.S. and potentially deploy 12-beam electronically steered antennas instead of those with a parabolic dish structure, which are less capable of tracking multiple satellites at the same time.
AWS, which partnered with Lockheed in 2018 to integrate the former's offerings into the Verge network, expects to finish constructing 12 of its own ground stations by the end of this year.
Lockheed aims to have the expanded ground network ready for operations by 2020.