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Honeywell, Ball to Develop Optical Communication Links

By | April 17, 2018

Rendition of satellite laser communications. Photo: NASA.

Ball Aerospace is collaborating with Honeywell to develop and produce high-performance, high-reliability optical communication datalinks that enable satellite operators to deliver high-capacity, high-data rate connectivity to users around the world. Together, the two companies will establish volume production of optical terminals for communications from ground to space, spacecraft to spacecraft and spacecraft to aircraft.

According to Ball Aerospace, the optical communication terminals are manufactured entirely from American-sourced parts, assuring secure solutions for domestic missions. The two companies are targeting customers in the commercial and U.S. government markets.

Free-space optical communication systems complement traditional Radio Frequency (RF) solutions, bringing the internet speeds of terrestrial fiber optics to space. Using laser technology, optical communication systems offer a much narrower and more focused beam than traditional RF links, resulting in higher data rates, more capacity, greater security and smaller, lighter and more affordable terminals.