Backnang, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts, USA (September 11, 2017) – Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG (Tesat) and BridgeSat, Inc. (BridgeSat), announced today an agreement to jointly develop a solution enabling interoperability between Tesat’s heritage Laser Communications Terminals (LCT) and BridgeSat’s global optical communications ground network.
With flight heritage that extends back over 15 years, Tesat‘s advanced LCTs have successfully operated on numerous satellite missions, including NFIRE, Alphasat, Sentinel-1A, Sentinel-2A, Sentinel-1B, Sentinel-2B, and EDRS-A. Having launched numerous LCTs that deliver high data rate communications for GEO satellite and inter-satellite links, Tesat has developed a Laser Communication Terminal for Direct to Earth downlink applications, the LCT DTE, in collaboration with the Institute of Communications and Navigation (IKN) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR)‎.
BridgeSat is developing a global optical communications ground network to serve the commercial satellite community. This network will consist of multiple optical ground stations with sites already identified and in development, strategically located in areas that have low clouds, good access to terrestrial networks, and optimized to serve LEO, ISS, and GEO orbits.
As part of this collaboration, Tesat and BridgeSat will work together to ensure compatibility between the Tesat LCT DTE and the BridgeSat optical communications ground network. The goal of this demonstration is to broaden satellite operators’ options for an optical space terminal and ground network that provide higher data rates and better security than traditional RF systems. By gaining compatibility with Tesat’s LCTs, the BridgeSat ground network will further extend its utilization for key missions.
“Tesat is a strong believer that optical communications is a breakthrough technology for satellite operators that are limited in their ability to deliver on-orbit data. By linking to BridgeSat’s global optical communications ground network, we can provide a total optical communications solution that will address this pressing need,” said Klaus Michel, Head of Marketing and Sales of Tesat-Spacecom.
“It is a great honor to work with Tesat-Spacecom to provide a total optical communications system that will benefit the commercial satellite industry. Their vision and leadership in optical communications has prepared operators to fully embrace this technology,” said David Mitlyng, SVP of Business Development & Strategy of BridgeSat. “We look forward to working with the Tesat team.”