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Towards the  All-Optical Satellite Communications System

Thu, 12/09/2021 - 09:43
Start Date: 
End Date: 
Programme Reference: 
Airbus Defence & Space

Although the first laser communication systems were demonstrated in space in the 1990s, it is only recently that the technology, reliability and economics of space based optical systems have combined with the need for more bandwidth to push them into operation. Developments supported by space agencies pave the way for a commercial use of optical technologies, which are planned to revolutionize communication network architectures by introducing a hybrid terrestrial/space options.
In this context, the goal of the TAO study is to identify a relevant business case based on an all optical satellite system, to detail the corresponding system architecture and to assess the associated roadmap. Two missions have been selected among an initial pool of seven scenarios:
- the white areas backhauling: 10 Gbps of aggregated capacity are sufficient to provide high speed connection to a local access network. This would be a temporary measure, to allow a terrestrial solution to come forward.
- the redundancy of terrestrial network for isolated islands, landlocked countries or for any region with a lack of optical fibre redundancy: 100 Gbps class links are required to provide a useful redundancy of the terrestrial network. As in the previous case, the optical link will only operate during the time required to restore the connection.

Application Domain: 
Generic Technologies
Optical Communication
Executive summary: