Partnership introduces laser communication for nanosatellites

April 18, 2019 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
 Artistic illustration of the PIXL mission in orbit operating its laser down-link (GomSpace)
TESAT, KSAT and GomSpace have partnered up to introduce full optical communications capability for small satellite missions and space-based services.

Until now this technology has mainly been used on large and expensive satellites but has now small enough for use on miniature satellites and new constellations. This latest  technology will be launched in the PIXL demonstration mission later in 2019.

Optical communication technology offers a number of important benefits that will add to the value of future space-based infrastructures – including support for dramatically higher data rates and improved security through narrow beam-widths.

In a bid to accelerate market introduction of the technology by the end of this year, the partners have put their competences together to demonstrate that optical downlinks are ready to be used as operational downlink technology for nanosatellites.

See also: First LTE-over-Satellite system


Valuable collaboration

TESAT, a leader in optical satellites communications, has successfully miniaturised the technology to allow its efficient use on satellites down to 3 kg and with data rates from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps.

KSAT, the leading ground station network provider for new space customers through its KSATLite offering, is committed to building out a compatible network of optical ground stations and scaling it with increasing customer demand.

See also: Satellite phone market growing slowly

GomSpace, a leader in nanosatellite design and manufacturing, has – in collaboration with TESAT – validated compatibility and integration between GomSpace satellite busses and TESAT’s miniaturised optical terminals.

Artistic illustration of the PIXL mission in orbit operating its laser down-link (GomSpace)

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