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AstroTerrace, BridgeSat to Support Japan’s ETS 9 Program

By Kendall Russell | October 24, 2017
      Rendition of Japan's ETS 9 satellite. Photo: Mitsubishi Electric.

      Rendition of Japan’s ETS 9 satellite. Photo: Mitsubishi Electric.

      The Japanese government has awarded AstroTerrace and BridgeSat a contract to support the development of the optical communications system on its Engineering Test Satellite 9 (ETS 9).

      The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has embarked on the development of an advanced optical communications system for the ETS 9 satellite, known as the High speed Communication with Advanced Laser Instrument (HICALI). As part of this collaboration, AstroTerrace and BridgeSat will work together to deliver the optical front end for HICALI on the satellite. When ETS 9 is launched in 2021, HICALI is expected to deliver data rates of 10 Gbps through an optical communications link between the ground and the ETS 9 satellite, located in a Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) above Japan.

      The objectives of the HICALI program include in-orbit verification of 10 Gbps-class GEO-to-ground lasercom, verification of novel high-speed optical devices, and collection of laser-beam propagation data and in-orbit experience.

      Under the contract, AstroTerrace will manage the program and oversee the development, while BridgeSat will provide the optical front end design.