BlueHalo Awarded $11M Air Force Research Laboratory Contract for Optical Laser Communications Flight Terminals and Ground Station

BlueHalo Laser Communications Concept (Image Credit: BlueHalo)

ARLINGTON, Va. (BlueHalo PR) — BlueHalo has been awarded a contract to deliver a pair of optical laser communications proto-flight terminals and a ground station to demonstrate on-orbit processing of satellite positioning and timing for the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base.  Work will be performed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by February 2025.  The contract will support the development and demonstration of key technologies: GEO-to-LEO Optical Uplinks and Downlinks, Space-to-Ground Links, Positioning and Timing Accuracies over Optical Communication Links, and interoperability with multiple optical communications standards.

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Northrop Grumman Announces Successful Laser Communication Demonstration for Tranche 1 Transport Layer Prototype Constellation

Northrop Grumman teamed with Mynaric and Innoflight to bring the Space Development Agency’s (SDA) vision of a secure, proliferated low-Earth orbit (LEO) mesh communication network closer to reality

Northrop Grumman personnel examine the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Test Program Satellite 6 (STPSat-6) at its facility in Dulles, Virginia, prior to its shipment to Florida for final launch processing. Seen on the front of the spacecraft is NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration instrument, the first long-duration laser communications mission that will validate advanced relay operations for future missions. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) today announced the successful ground demonstration of a secure networked laser communications system for proliferated-LEO constellations supporting the U.S. military.

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SEAKR Engineering Demonstrates Optical Communications on DARPA’s Mandrake 2 Satellites

Mandrake 2 satellites (Credit: DARPA)

Integrated technology allows for on-orbit networked systems

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (SEAKR Engineering PR) – SEAKR Engineering, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, announced a successful demonstration of optical inter-satellite links between two Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Mandrake 2 satellites. During the first test, more than 280 gigabits of data were transferred at a range of 114 kilometers during a period of more than 40 minutes. 

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Canadian Space Agency Funds Novel Ideas for Potential Moon Infrastructure

Credit: Canadian Space Agency

LONGUEIUL, Que. (CSA PR) — As humanity tackles the challenges of creating a permanent human presence on the Moon, multiple Canadian companies will undertake seven concept studies. These reports will help develop capabilities and define potential Canadian infrastructure contributions on the Moon’s surface.

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CubeSat Set to Demonstrate NASA’s Fastest Laser Link from Space

The completed TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) payload at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory. (Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory)

By Kendall Murphy
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — NASA’s Pathfinder Technology Demonstrator 3 (PTD-3) mission, carrying the TeraByte InfraRed Delivery (TBIRD) system, will debut on May 25 as part of SpaceX’s Transporter-5 rideshare launch. TBIRD will showcase the high-data-rate capabilities of laser communications from a CubeSat in low-Earth orbit. At 200 gigabits per second (Gbps), TBIRD will downlink data at the highest optical rate ever achieved by NASA.

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Mynaric and Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. Sign Contract for Laser Communication Demonstration on ISS Bartolomeo Platform

Bartolomeo platform on the International Space Station. (Credit: Mynaric)

Airbus’s payload hosting platform to demonstrate Mynaric’s laser communication product on the International Space Station 

HOUSTON, May 12, 2022 – Mynaric (NASDAQ: MYNA)(FRA: M0Y) and Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. have signed a contract to host Mynaric’s CONDOR Mk2 terminal for space-based laser communication on the International Space Station’s (ISS) functional testbed, Bartolomeo. Mynaric plans to operate its industrialized optical communications terminal on the ISS, with the goal of demonstrating the product’s capabilities in low Earth orbit and providing its customers with an extended range of experimental mission scenarios.  

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Space Station to Host ‘Self-Healing’ Quantum Communications Tech Demo

SEAQUE will be hosted on the International Space Station by the Nanoracks Bishop airlock. The blue-and-gold brackets attached to the side of the airlock are for external payloads. The technology demonstration will be installed at one of those sites. (Credit: NASA)

The NASA-funded experiment will test two technologies that could eventually enable quantum computers to communicate with each other no matter where they are located.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — A tiny experiment launching to the International Space Station later this year could set the stage for a future global quantum network. Called the Space Entanglement and Annealing QUantum Experiment (or SEAQUE), the milk-carton-size technology demonstration will test two communications technologies in the harsh environment of space.

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NeoPhotonics Announces Ultra-Narrow Linewidth Laser for Low Earth Orbit Satellite Applications

Radiation Tolerant Coherent Low Noise Tunable Laser has Enhanced Flexible Software to Extend Operating Life in a Radiation Environment Without Compromising Performance

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 7, 2022 (NeoPhotonics PR) — NeoPhotonics Corporation (NYSE: NPTN), a leading developer of silicon photonics and advanced hybrid photonic integrated circuit-based lasers, modules and subsystems for bandwidth-intensive, high-speed communications networks, today announced its new Radiation Tolerant version of its industry leading Nano ultra-pure light tunable laser which has been designed for use in low earth orbit satellite communications applications. NeoPhotonics’ current Nano-ITLA laser is in high volume production for terrestrial fiber optics applications and is used by many of the leading optical networking companies in their most advanced coherent pluggable modules and high-speed embedded systems. This new radiation tolerant laser introduces enhancements including an adaptive approach to achieve extended lifetime operation of the proven Nano laser hardware in a radiation flux environment to enable reliable operation in space without compromise to performance and stability.

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Space Micro Lands Space Development Agency Contract for Optical Communications

SAN DIEGO, February 23, 2022 (Voyager Space PR) — Voyager Space Inc. (Voyager), a space technology company with nearly 20 years of spaceflight heritage, and Space Micro, Inc., powered by Voyager and a provider of digital, electro-optic and communications systems for satellites, deep space exploration and other space equipment, today announced an award from the Space Development Agency (SDA) for a 24-month development contract for advanced one-to-many optical communications using Managed Optical Communication Array (MOCA) technology to support Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations. Space Micro partnered with BridgeComm Inc., a global leader in optical wireless communications solutions and services.

“We are thrilled that SDA has selected Space Micro, along with our outstanding partners at BridgeComm,” said David Strobel, Executive Chair of Space Micro. “We are looking forward to further testing our technology to enhance the overall architecture in LEO.”

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Thales Alenia Space and Partners Awarded Two Contracts for Laser-communication Related to ESA’s Hydron

CANNES, France (Thales Alenia Space PR) — Thales Alenia Space recently kicked-off two projects related to HydRON, being funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). The two contracts will allow Thales Alenia Space, and its partners, to develop its own vision demonstrating the potential of laser-based satellite communication.

The past years have seen a quick expansion of communications infrastructures fuelled by the unprecedented rise in the volume of data streams that circle the globe. This demand is also felt in the aerospace sector, where interconnection and integrative network concepts across orbits and across the globe are key to fulfil the demands of the future.

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New Laser Station Lights the Way to Debris Reduction

ESA’s IZN-1 laser ranging station on top of the Izaña mountain in Tenerife, Spain. (Credit: ESA)

TENERIFE, Spain (ESA PR) — ESA’s Izaña-1 laser ranging station in Tenerife, Spain, has recently undergone months of testing and commissioning, passing its final tests with flying colours. As it reached ‘station acceptance’, it was handed over to ESA from the German company contracted to build it, DiGOS. The station is a technology testbed and a vital first step in making debris mitigation widely accessible to all space actors with a say in the future of our space environment.

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Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin Announces the Defence Space Strategy

Jeremy Quin

Speech
Kings College London
1 February 2022

It’s a huge pleasure to be here today on the next step in our execution of the Integrated Review, the Defence Command Paper and Defence and Security Industrial Strategy.

A lot has happened in Defence in the last year. From assisting in homeland resilience in issues as varied at vaccine delivery to Heavy Goods Vehicle support to the largest Royal Navy deployment in decades making our positive presence felt on the far side of the world.

Above all, as I speak, the Defence Secretary is meeting NATO partners, discussing the truly concerning situation on Ukraine’s borders – the most serious threat of a major war on our continent since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

However the British people know that what they can always expect from UK Defence is calm, determined, delivery.

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Space Micro Receives USAF Contract To Develop Air-To-Space Lasercom

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Space Micro PR) — Space Micro, powered by Voyager Space, has been selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) AFWERX program for an award to develop an air-to-space laser communications system.

Under this contract, Space Micro, a leader in space-based laser communications, addresses some of the most challenging air-to-space laser communications problems, which are primarily caused by the regular instability of Earth’s atmosphere. Space Micro’s laser communications products have been developed for commercial and government customers and are now evolving into a key solution for highly directional, long-distance, high-bandwidth telecommunications for air-to-space connective applications.

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Russia’s Sphere Satellite Constellation Moves Toward Implementation

Sphere constellation satellite orbits. (Credit: Roscosmos)
  • 264-satellite constellation will provide broadband and Earth observation capabilities
  • Russia’s first mega constellation would be deployed in medium orbit
  • Government plans to spend US $370 million through 2024

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — After several stages of discussions and approvals in the government, the Federal Sphere project received a development plan supported by funding. In the coming years, emphasis will be placed on developing technologies and creating the first samples of spacecraft. The final decision on the number and composition of satellite constellations will be made based on the results shown.

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CLICK Team Tests Optical Communications Technology Ahead of Small Spacecraft Swarm Demonstration

Graduate students build the test assembly of the CubeSat Laser Infrared CrosslinK, or CLICK, B/C engineering development unit in a clean room at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. (Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (NASA PR) — Teams from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville are currently testing components of NASA’s CubeSat Laser Infrared CrosslinK (CLICK) B/C demonstration, aiming to validate that the technology can be packaged into a CubeSat and work as expected. CLICK B/C is the second of two sequential missions designed to advance optical communications capabilities for autonomous fleets of CubeSats.

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