Gigabit Connectivity for the International Space Station

10,000 laser links between satellites established

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 high capacity direct-to-earth Laser Communication Terminal.

T-OSIRIS, how the new terminal is called, was developed in cooperation between DLR-IKN and the German spacecraft supplier Tesat-Spacecom. It complements Bartolomeo, Columbus and thus the ISS with the ability to transmit data directly to earth via optical communication. Data rates of up to 10 gigabit per second and capable of transmitting data over a distance of 1,500 kilometres are the key parameters of the small terminal, which is based on the long-term experience of Tesat-Spacecom as the only company worldwide to offer state-of-the-art laser communication technology on a serial production level. T-OSIRIS is a follow-on-design of the OSIRIS-family from DLR-IKN, which is in orbit on BIROS and Flying Laptop.

“With this new and groundbreaking technology, the International Space Station will be connected to the earth at an unprecedented data speed in space. Where previously only 1 megabit per second was possible, T-OSIRIS now provides the ISS with the ability to send data to the ground at data rates of up to 10 gigabits per second. This capability opens up a whole host of new and future-oriented fields of application”, said Andreas Hammer, CEO of Tesat-Spacecom.

T-OSIRIS will be connected to the ISS via the new external payload platform Bartolomeo, which will serve as a commercial platform for external payloads, enabling private and institutional customers to access the ISS more cheaply, quickly and reliably.


About Tesat-Spacecom
At Tesat-Spacecom in Backnang, around 1,100 employees develop, manufacture and distribute systems and equipment for telecommunications via satellite. The product range includes highly reliable devices such as travelling wave tube amplifiers, multiplexers, switches, modulators, as well as entire systems, payloads, and world leading, unique optical terminals for data transmission via laser. To date, far more than 700 space flight projects have been accomplished.

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