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Airbus to Commence Service on EDRS-C Satellite

By | July 17, 2020

SpaceDataHighway concept image by Airbus

Airbus is ready to commence operational services on its EDRS-C satellite after completing in-orbit tests and establishing laser communications links to the European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus Earth observation spacecraft, the manufacturer announced.

Launched in August 2019 and located at the 31 degrees East orbital slot, EDRS-C will serve as the second node of Airbus’ SpaceDataHighway constellation — billed as the world’s first laser communication geostationary constellation. The European Data Relay System (EDRS) at the base of the SpaceDataHighway is a public–private partnership between the ESA and Airbus, with the laser terminals developed by Tesat-Spacecom and the DLR German Space Administration.

“[SpaceDataHighway] represents a game changer in the speed of space communications, using cutting-edge laser technology to deliver secure data transfer services at a rate of 1.8 Gbit/s in near-real time,” Airbus said in a company statement.

EDRS-C doubles the Airbus constellation’s transmission capacity. A total of 15 satellites are scheduled to join the SpaceDataHighway system by 2030.