(EE.NewsEurope) ScyLight, ESA’s programme for secure and laser communication technologies addresses optical as well as quantum communication.
A part of ScyLight program is a laser communications terminal prototype to demonstrate broadband links from aircraft to space is being developed by Airbus, working with the Netherlands organisation for applied scientific research (TNO). The project is co-financed by Airbus, TNO and the Netherlands Space Office.
The work forms part of ESA’s programme for secure and laser communication technologies called ScyLight and addresses optical as well as quantum communication. The laser communication terminal demonstrator developed by Airbus and partners will be designed, constructed and tested under laboratory conditions by the end of 2021.
The following year, UltraAir system will be installed in ESA’s optical ground station in Tenerife, Spain and tested in a communication link with another laser terminal on board the Alphasat telecommunications satellite, which is in geostationary orbit some 36 000 kilometres above Earth.
For the final verification, the UltraAir demonstrator will be integrated on an aircraft for flight testing by mid-2022.