Airbus Launches OPTIMA Photonics Payload Technology Project

STEVENAGE, England, March 15, 2018 (Airbus PR) – Airbus has launched the OPTIMA project, which will deliver a proof of concept demonstrator for the use of photonic payloads in telecommunications satellites.

The OPTIMA project, which is led by Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage and part of Horizon 2020 funded by the European Commission, comprises specialist partners from across Europe, including: DAS Photonics, CORDON Electronics, SODERN, IMEC and Polatis. Airbus Defence and Space will define, assemble and test a photonic payload demonstrator based on the components and equipment developed by the other members of the consortium.

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NASA Selects Five Integrated Photonics Research Projects

A new-fangled modem that will employ an emerging technology called integrated photonics will be tested as part of NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration mission. (Credit: NASA)
A new-fangled modem that will employ an emerging technology called integrated photonics will be tested as part of NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration mission. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON — NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate or STMD chose five university-led teams to further study different applications of an emerging, potentially revolutionary technology called integrated photonics.

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NASA Engineer Tapped to Build First Integrated-Photonics Modem

A new-fangled modem that will employ an emerging technology called integrated photonics will be tested as part of NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration mission. (Credit: NASA)
A new-fangled modem that will employ an emerging technology called integrated photonics will be tested as part of NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration mission. (Credit: NASA)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — The space agency’s first-ever integrated-photonics modem will be tested aboard the International Space Station beginning in 2020 as part of NASA’s multi-year Laser Communications Relay Demonstration, or LCRD. The cell phone-sized device incorporates optics-based functions, such as lasers, switches, and wires, onto a microchip — much like an integrated circuit found in all electronics hardware.

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