Collin Arocho
21 January 2021

Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands has entered into an agreement with Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) to collaborate on ground equipment for space-to-ground optical communication. Optical communication between ground stations and satellites in orbit enables broadband connectivity via space, providing a secure and efficient solution for the fast-growing worldwide demand for data. The partnership aims to accelerate the development of commercially viable optical ground stations offered by Airbus NL, which will be used by SSC in delivering ground network services.

Credit: Swedish Space Corporation

One of the collaborative activities in developing this capability includes optical communication tests against the CubeLCT optical terminal on the Photo Images Cross Laser mission (PIXL-1), organized in close cooperation with project partner Tesat. PIXL-1 will be launching this week. “Optical communication will be a game changer in this era in which we increasingly share data,” says Maarten Schippers, CEO at Airbus NL. “We have a strong desire to work with SSC to further build up our capabilities for optical ground stations, as they’ve been at the forefront of ground stations services for decades.”