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Airbus DS NL successfully tests Optical Ground Station for laser communications

While the full end-to-end optical/ laser communications market is still developing, some applications are already taking shape. Recently, the Airbus DS NL team successfully performed calibration and pointing & control tests on the demonstrator Optical Ground Station (OGS) container. The tests were designed to confirm the hardware setup, check alignments on the optical bench and to demonstrate capability to acquire and track a laser beam from a counter terminal positioned at a distance of 35 m. The optical setup was delivered by General Atomics Synopta GmbH, which supports Airbus during the integration of the equipment in the transportable container and system demonstration.

Airbus Space has been at the forefront of laser communications by developing and building the European Data Relay System (EDRS), often referred to as Space Data Highway, by creating the Optical Communications Unified Roadmap (OCUR). The main laser hardware in the Space Data Highway was developed by Airbus subsidiary TESAT; the service is being managed by the Airbus Connected Intelligence division. Within OCUR, Airbus DS Netherlands is developing Optical Ground Stations (OGS) and Aerial Laser Terminals, in collaboration with TNO and in preparation of further industrialization with the FSO consortium.