Contract signed for first global, satellite laser communications system

Ball Aerospace & Technologies
Monday, 22 September, 2014

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp has been selected by Laser Light Communications to be its prime contractor for the first global, all-optical commercial satellite system.

The contract will include a first phase design analysis that will lead to completion of an eight-satellite constellation operating in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO).

The complete constellation of up to 12 satellites is expected to deliver 6 terabits of data per second with service speeds of 200 gigabits per second, bidirectionally, or nearly 100 times faster than conventional radio downlinks.

As customer demand for bandwidth grows, Laser Light says that space-based laser communication will provide a new way to move vast amounts of information around the globe efficiently and with greater resiliency.

While conventional systems require labour-intensive infrastructure and are vulnerable to potential service disruptions, Laser Light says its system will deliver equivalent bandwidth connections at lower operating costs, with higher speed and reliability.

The company also says that its optical system will integrate seamlessly with existing ground service networks, offering multiple downlink locations to eliminate slowdowns from network congestion, outages or weather interruptions.

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