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Northrop Grumman Completes Mynaric Laser Comms System Demo for SDA

By | June 14, 2022

Northrop Grumman’s T1TL mesh satellite constellation. (Photo by Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman successfully completed a demonstration of a secure, networked laser communications system for proliferated-LEO constellations using Mynaric’s Condor Mk2 optical communications terminals. The demonstration is part of a contract that Northrop Grumman won in March to build 42 satellites for the Space Development Agency (SDA) under the U.S. National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA) Tranche 1 Transport Layer program.

Mynaric was tapped as Northrop’s sole optical terminal supplier for the SDA satellites, with scheduled Condor optical terminal deliveries through 2024. The agreement with Northrop Grumman represents Mynaric’s largest optical terminal order to date.

“We invested in this demonstration because we wanted to reduce key risks early in development,” said Blake Bullock, vice president of communication systems for Northrop Grumman. “Our team focused on speed and optimizing the best of emerging commercial suppliers like Mynaric and Innoflight – while bringing the mission expertise unique to Northrop Grumman to test and field this prototype constellation.”

“We congratulate Northrop Grumman for winning this milestone program delivering advanced capabilities to the U.S. government, successfully demonstrating first capabilities, and paving the way for how commercial supply chains can be leveraged by governmental users now and in the future,”  Mynaric CEO Bulent Altan said in a statement issued Tuesday. “We are proud to have been selected by Northrop Grumman to provide them with our industrialized products and I want to thank the entire Mynaric team that has worked tirelessly to make this possible. This landmark procurement of optical communication terminals in the government market is evidence that we have firmly arrived in the industrial age of laser communications.”

An earlier version of this story said that Condor Mk3 terminals were demonstrated. The story has been updated with the correct information that Northrop Grumman demonstrated Mynaric’s Condor Mk2 terminals.