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  • Satellite Evolution Group

AAC Clyde Space and partners create hub for laser communications in the Netherlands

AAC Clyde SpaceAAC Clyde Space and partners create hub for laser communications in the Netherlands

AAC Clyde Space and partners are creating a hub for laser satellite communications in the Netherlands, supported by agreements with Dutch TNO and FSO Instruments. The agreement marks all three parties' commitment to build up a long-term partnership and aim to establish a European ecosystem for laser satellite communication, based in the Netherlands.


"Advances in high data volume payloads, such as for Earth Observation, have highlighted the need for radically improved downlink capability for smaller satellites. Laser communication is ideal to take on this complex challenge. This partnership places us in an ideal position to meet this rapidly emerging demand", says AAC Clyde Space CEO Luis Gomes.


"This new collaboration underscores TNO's dedication to accelerate the transfer of our technology, fostering the growth of optical satellite communication capabilities in the Netherlands and bolstering a robust network within Europe and NATO", says Kees Buijsrogge, Director TNO Space.


This news follows the earlier announcement of the parties forming a consortium to develop the next generation of laser communication terminals for small satellites.


In this latest project, AAC Clyde Space partners is set to deliver a next-generation compact, low-cost, laser system capable of transmitting data from space at a speed of up to 10 Gbps to enable space-to-ground communication between small satellites and optical ground stations. This is several times faster than current laser communication systems, and is far outpacing the radio frequencies in use today.


AAC Clyde Space has entered into a licensing agreement with TNO which grants AAC Clyde Space the right to use TNO's cutting-edge laser communication terminal technology. Measuring 10 x 10 x 10 cm the terminal is ideally suited for small satellites. The group has also entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with FSO Instruments regarding joint support in the development of a manufacturing and marketing. FSO will provide additional optical technology to the project. AAC's subsidiary in the Netherlands, AAC Hyperion, will provide optical communications for onboard electronics, drivers and software to the laser system.


Laser communications is poised to play a crucial role in the next phase of space advancement, driven by the increasing demand for global connectivity and the growing volume of data generated in space. The technology enable 100 to 1000 times more data transmitted to Earth than current radio frequency systems. Not only is it faster, laser communications also offer a more secure option.

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