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ESA Workshop: Shining a light on future Optical Space Communication Systems, 9-10 June 2015, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

ESA is hosting a workshop to ignite the discussion among experts in this area on system aspects of optical communications from space. Optical space technologies have matured and are now ready to be applied in commercial satellite communication systems, bringing with them significant advantages such as much higher data rates, low probability of intercept, no restriction for frequency use, lower payload volume and mass and less power consumption requirements.

The European Space Agency has demonstrated that laser communications are feasible and ready for commercial systems and the European Data Relay System (EDRS) will use optical inter satellite links at a high data rate. There is a lot of recent investment from USA, Japan and China in the development of inter-satellite and feeder optical links and a lot of global interest in new areas such as quantum space communications. There is also commercial interest to develop an all-optical satellite constellation serving broadband needs of institutional and commercial users around the world.

The main objectives will be to explore operator needs for future satellites employing optical technology, explore the current state of the art of optical satellite systems, discuss new advances such as space quantum communications, and develop a roadmap for future development and investment in this important topic.

More on the event here


Helix Nebula is a new, pioneering partnership between leading IT providers and four of Europe’s biggest research centres, CERN, EMBL, ESA and PIC, charting a course towards sustainable cloud services for the research communities - the Science Cloud.