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Axiom Space Partners With Kepler and Skyloom to Demonstrate Optical Inter-Satellite Links 

By Rachel Jewett | December 19, 2023

Rendering of the Axiom Space Orbital Data Center. Photo: Axiom Space

Axiom Space is partnering with Kepler Communications US and Skyloom Global to integrate and demonstrate optical inter-satellite links (OISLs) on the first module of the company’s commercial space station. The companies announced Dec. 19 what they are calling an orbital data center. 

This work will allow for data to be transmitted to and from the orbital data center via the Kepler and Skyloom relay constellations. Axiom said the OISLs will allow for up to 10 gigabits-per-second data throughput and meet Space Development Agency (SDA) interoperability standards. 

Axiom Space is building a module for the ISS, which is scheduled to launch to the ISS by 2026. 

Once Axiom Station Hab One (AxH1) is connected to the ISS, the data center hardware and optical communications terminals will be flown to AxH1 for module integration in preparation for initial testing. The first tranche of orbital data center capability is planned to launch by 2027.

It will test capabilities including high-bandwidth data connectivity between Axiom Station via a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) relay network back to Earth; real-time voice and video capabilities for Axiom Station and its crew; high-speed data transport from experiments and payloads; and connectivity and interoperability between LEO and GEO satellites with AxH1 as a network translation node. 

“This is a pivotal moment for in-space data processing infrastructure and capabilities,” said Jason Aspiotis, Axiom Space’s Director of In-Space Infrastructure & Logistics. “The effort and collaboration with Kepler and Skyloom will help us realize our vision of building and operationalizing the world’s first orbital data center. The data center will provide unprecedented data storage and processing capacity in a commercial, scalable, and economical way.”