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Mynaric, SpaceLink Partner to Accelerate Satellite Laser Terminal Technology

By Jeffrey Hill | May 12, 2021

Pictured above left to right: SpaceLink’s Rob Singh, CTO, Larry Rubin, COO, Dave Bettinger, CEO. Mynaric’s Tina Ghataore, CCO, Joachim Horwath, CTO, Bulent Altan, CEO, Ali Younis, VP U.S. Business Development (Photo: SpaceLink)

Mynaric will supply more than $20 million in laser communication products to SpaceLink under the terms of a new partnership agreement the two companies announced Wednesday. The partnership closes on what Mynaric believes is the largest direct acquisition of laser communication products by a commercial entity to date.

Mynaric will supply more than 40 Optical Inter-Satellite Link (OISL) and CONDOR terminals to SpaceLink’s data relay network, which aims to provide secure, continuous, high-capacity communications between LEO spacecraft and the ground.

In addition, the companies will also work together to expand Mynaric’s terminal portfolio. They will co-develop an OISL terminal that is compatible with the Space Development Agency (SDA) Transport Layer and another that can service satellites in Medium-Earth Orbit (MEO), where SpaceLink’s relay constellation will operate.

In the agreement, SpaceLink and Mynaric agreed to an option that would increase the number of terminals produced and delivered upon SpaceLink’s expansion of its MEO constellation.

“Our work with Mynaric to implement advanced OISL capability into the SpaceLink constellation will ensure performance and interoperability,” SpaceLink CEO David Bettinger said in the announcement. “Mynaric has exceptional expertise to advance a new generation of OISLs that address our requirements and our mission to speed massive amounts of data to users no matter where they are located on Earth.”

In a January 2021 interview with Via Satellite, Bettinger explained the nature of the bandwidth that links his company’s relay system. “We have a special Ka-band that goes between the LEO and our relay satellite, and a much higher frequency, a V-band frequency, that goes between the MEOs. Our downlink to the ground will be a traditional Q- and V-band gateway connectivity,” Bettinger said in the interview.

Mynaric’s terminals have a data rate of 10 Gbps when satellites are approximately 4,500 km apart, and a higher date of 20 Gbps can be achieved if the satellites are 3,500 km apart.