Aerospace & Defence

Optical modules scoop satellite deal

18th March 2021
Mick Elliott

Reflex Photonics, a Smiths Interconnect company has been awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to deliver thousands of SpaceABLE28 optical module devices to be used in state-of-the-art, high-throughput communication satellites (HTCS) that will be deployed into geostationary orbit.

Building on the robustness inherent in the design of Reflex Photonics’ optical modules, the SpaceABLE28 line will provide radiation-resistant optical interconnect modules tested and qualified for use in harsh space environment.

Reflex Photonics has benefited from support from the European Space Agency ARTES Scylight program with financial contribution from the Canadian Space Agency to pursue the development of advanced, high-speed, digital intrasatellite optical fibre communication modules.

Tullio Panarello, Vice President and General Manager Fibre Optics and Components at Smiths Interconnect, comments: “The optimisation of our radiation-resistant transceivers to address the rigorous demands of GEO HTCS would not have been possible without the reputable cross-functional teams at Reflex Photonics and the invaluable contribution of the Canadian and European space agencies”.

Optical communication technology is becoming one of the major revolutions in HTCS. It will bring unprecedented transmission rates, data security, and resilience to the future HTCS and satellite constellations. The contract award to Reflex Photonics acknowledges our market-leading design expertise and our commitment to technical excellence.”

The ARTES Scylight program was designed to address the development, demonstration, and utilization of innovative optical technologies for digital satellite communication and foster commercial support for new market opportunities.

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