Mynaric Reports on Successful Development Progress of Smallsat Laser Communication Product
Mynaric has progressed through a crucial development milestone and is on track to complete the qualification unit of its smallsat laser communication product in early 2019, paving the way for serial production thereafter. The laser communication space terminal currently in development is designed for upcoming satellite mega-constellations in low Earth orbit (LEO).
Several well-known corporations in the industry are currently pursuing mega-constellations consisting of hundreds of satellites to bring unprecedented high-speed connectivity to regions that are not sufficiently connected at present. Dr Markus Knapek, Member of the Management Board, stated, “Most of these corporations have identified the value of laser communication to significantly increase the data capacity of their constellations and, therefore, the return on investment. We know that laser communication will be an essential ingredient of many of these systems.” Several test satellites of mega-constellations are scheduled for launch in early 2018, according to industry news.
Mynaric’s space terminal is designed for inter-satellite links spanning thousands of kilometres between small satellites, and will be able to transmit bidirectional data at 10Gbps (gigabit per second). Mike Soutullo, a space industry veteran with more than 35 years’ experience and various prestigious NASA awards, is leading the smallsat terminal development. and commented, “Mynaric’s extensive heritage with airborne laser terminals proved to be invaluable in expediting progress during early development, since our subsystems proved compatible with stratospheric temperatures and vibrations. We are now able to focus our energy on improving size, weight and power margins while bringing the best value to our customers.”
Although the development of the full terminal is still ongoing, first electronic components will be launched on a customer satellite in the first half of 2018. This will be the first time components delivered by Mynaric will leave the atmosphere and enter orbit. Dr Wolfram Peschko, CEO of Mynaric, said, “With our successful IPO in October 2017 and more than €27m of proceeds providing financial backing, we are able to transfer our vast experience in laser communication and heritage from the German Aerospace Center to the market for small satellites, just as planned. This positions us as a key supplier for this exciting growth market.”
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