AAC Clyde Space and partners establish laser satellite communication hub in the Netherlands

AAC Clyde Space, in collaboration with Dutch organizations TNO and FSO Instruments, is creating a hub for laser satellite communications in the Netherlands. The agreement solidifies the commitment of all three parties to build a long-term partnership and establish a European ecosystem for laser satellite communication.

Advances in high data volume payloads, particularly for Earth Observation, have underscored the need for significantly improved downlink capability for smaller satellites. Laser communication emerges as the ideal solution to address this complex challenge. As the demand for enhanced satellite communication rapidly grows, this partnership positions AAC Clyde Space ideally to meet this emerging need.

TNO, known for its dedication to accelerating technology transfer, plays a crucial role in fostering the growth of optical satellite communication capabilities in the Netherlands. The collaboration strengthens the network within Europe and NATO, emphasizing the importance of robust communication infrastructure.

In their latest project, AAC Clyde Space partners will deliver a next-generation compact, low-cost laser system capable of transmitting data from space at speeds of up to 10 Gbps. This speed significantly outpaces current laser communication systems and radio frequencies. The compact terminal, measuring 10 x 10 x 10 cm, is well-suited for small satellites.

Additionally, FSO Instruments collaborates with AAC Clyde Space, providing additional optical technology to the project. Through a memorandum of understanding (MoU), they jointly support the development of manufacturing and marketing efforts. AAC’s subsidiary in the Netherlands, AAC Hyperion, contributes to the project by providing optical communications for onboard electronics, drivers, and software to the laser system.

Laser communications are poised to play a crucial role in the next phase of space advancement. Driven by the increasing demand for global connectivity and the growing volume of data generated in space, laser communication enables 100 to 1000 times more data transmission to Earth compared to current radio frequency systems. Beyond speed, laser communications offer a more secure option, making them a promising technology for the future of space communication.

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