• Gigabit Connectivity for the International Space Station

    Berlin, 26.04.2018: At today’s press conference Airbus Defence and Space, the Institute for Communication and Navigation of the German Aerospace Center (DLR-IKN) and Tesat-Spacecom published their cooperation with the aim to equip the ISS with a...
  • ILA 2018 - Review Day 1

    Every two years, the clocks in the space business tic a bit different and everyone looks towards the ILA in Berlin. We have survived the first day almost unscathed and can justifiably say - without having seen many other exhibition stands - that...
  • World's smallest Laser Communication Terminal from Tesat on track - CDR for CubeL successfully held

    Backnang, 12.04.2018: Tesat's Laser Communication Terminal for CubeSats, CubeL, is on track after recently the Critical Design Review (CDR) was successfully held at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen. This was an important...
  • 10,000 laser links between satellites established

    Satellite communication reaches new peak Backnang, 11.04.2018: Tesat-Spacecom established 10,000 connections between satellites using its Laser Communication Terminals (LCT). Tesat's LCTs transmit massive amounts of data at up to 1.8 Gbps over...
  • Tesat celebrates 10 Years of Laser Communications in Space

    Backnang, 21.02.2018: Exactly ten years ago on 21st February, 2008, a government-to-government cooperation between the United States and Germany to establish a laser link between two operational satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) started a new...
  • Advanced capability evolution for optical Laser Communication

    The LCT135 with its 135 mm narrow aperture is the smallest terminal in the geostationary orbit. Working in a daily routine it is the powerhouse within the European Data Relay System called SpaceDataHighway. Under the ESA ScyLight program...
  • Live: Launch of SES-14 and Al Yah 3

    Tomorrow, on the 25th January, at 23:20 CET (live stream starts at 22:05 CET) an Ariane 5 ECA will launch two satellites - the SES-14 and the Al Yah 3 - into a geostationary transfer orbit. A rocket launch per se is a event you don't want to miss,...
  • Live: Launch of Sentinel-5P

    Today at 11:27 am CET the European Sentinel-5P satellite of the Copernicus program starts with a Rockot from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. In addition to the great fact that this launch is one of the few that takes place during the day...
  • Tesat-Spacecom cooperates with industry to produce the first interoperable LCT

    PI1283 – Backnang, 12.09.2017: Tesat-Spacecom GmbH announced today that it will produce and market an interoperable version of its space based Laser Communication Terminal (LCT). The interoperable terminal will be able to communicate in both 1064nm...
  • Tesat-Spacecom & Bridgesat announce partnership

    Tesat-Spacecom and BridgeSat Announce Partnership to Provide Total Optical Communications Solution for Commercial Satellite Operators PI1284 – Backnang, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts, USA (September 11, 2017) — Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG...

Physics Laboratory

LISA Pathfinder, the technology demonstrator of the ESA for the detection of gravitational waves, is now ready for transport to the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. From there it will start in November into space. The 1.9-ton spacecraft, for which Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor, will be launched aboard a European Vega rocket.

The LISA Pathfinder project is going to open up unknown observation possibilities for the gravitational universe where new measurement of gravitational waves in space required technologies are tested. These by Albert Einstein predicted waves represent distortions of spacetime curvature and are caused by massive celestial bodies. A better understanding of their tracks will bring scientists new insights about black holes, compact binary stars and other exotic celestial bodies.

LISA Pathfinder is carrying the 150 kg LISA Technology Package (LTP). It consists of a laser interferometer, which heart is a Reference Laser Unit by Tesat-Spacecom. The interferometer measures the changes in distance between two high-precision, each 1.96 kg heavy test masses from a gold-platinum alloy. Once the satellite has reached its orbit around 1.5 million kilometers from Earth the two test masses are unlocked via a mechanism and kept in suspension by means of accurately controllable, weak electrostatic field. In the research phase of the mission, the electrostatic field is then switched to one of the two test masses. The spacecraft follows the test mass, controlled by a high-precision attitude control system (Drag-Free Attitude Control System). Laser interferometer and electrostatic sensors measure the movement of the test mass in the spacecraft to ensure that these are not affected by interference. The interferometer now determines the relative position and orientation of about 40 centimeters apart masses with an accuracy of less than 0.01 nanometers, or less than one millionth of the diameter of a human hair.

LISA Pathfinder paves the way for a future large space observatory that will monitor and measure gravitational waves directly and accurately. These tiny distortions of spacetime require a very sensitive and highly precise measuring technology, their performance can only be tested in space, free from external interference.

IMAGE SOURCE: ESA