Advanced Television

ESA to fund R&D on optical satellites

November 19, 2019

By Chris Forrester

The European Space Agency is looking to set a budget of almost $2 billion (€1.7 billion) for research and development on new technologies within the satellite sector.

The R&D work, if approved by European ministers at an upcoming conference on November 27th – 28th, will focus on the integration of satellites into 5G, very-high throughput satellites and with some €530 million earmarked for optical communications (as part of ESA’s ScyLight scheme).

A news-story carried by specialist publication Space Intel Report, and quoting Magali Vaissiere, ESA’s director of telecommunications and integrated applications, says that the budget will cover 3-5 years of investment and is designed to test everything to do with optical data transfer, between satellites as well as from an orbiting craft to the ground.

Optical technologies are especially appealing insofar that they cannot be jammed.

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