Arianespace has recently launched an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, successfully deploying the EDRS-C satellite for the European Data Relay System.
The EDRS – or SpaceDataHighway as Airbus refers to it, is the world’s first “optical fibre” channel relying on state-of – the-art laser technology in the sky. A collaboration partnership between the European Space Agency and Airbus, it is a network of fully installed geostationary satellites over a ground station network capable of processing information at a pace of 1.8 Gbit/s. It will be primary feature of the Sky program of the Airbus Network (NFTS).
The second satellite joins EDRS-A, which transmits the photographs of Earth obtained from the four Sentinel observation satellite of the Copernicus program on a regular basis. It has accomplished more than 20,000 laser contacts since it joined operation in 2016.
SpaceDataHighway satellites can link up to 45,000 km away, intelligence UAVs or project aircraft via laser to low-orbiting observation satellites, claims Airbus.
Head of Communications, Intelligence & Security at Airbus Defence and Space, Evert Dudok, said, “The SpaceDataHighway makes our data connections more secure, more stable, more reliable, with more bandwidth and in near real time.
“The launch of our second satellite is just the start, laser communication will be a revolution for many industries,” he added.
The Pleiades Neo Earth observation satellites will start using the SpaceDataHighway from 2021. In addition to this, by the beginning of 2019, the program will also provide the International Space Station (ISS) Columbus satellite with a full European broadband communication service.
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