The satellite communication of the future will take place with lasers

RISE Acreo has developed a technology which makes it possible for satellites to communicate with lasers at speeds of up to 1 GBps. The technology builds on quantum wells, using these to minimize the data link terminal in the satellite and drastically reduce energy requirements. The combination makes laser communication a realistic alternative even between nanosatellites, which often do not weigh more than a matter of kilos.

Today, satellite communication takes place primarily via radio, but experiments show that lasers could give between 10 and 100 times higher bandwidth. In addition to the extended bandwidth, laser communication is more secure against eavesdropping and cannot be disrupted.

The component that modulates quantum wells with the help of electric fields is manufactured in Acreo’s and KTH’s clean room in Kista, and is known as EAM, surface normal electroabsorption modulator. It serves as the core of a modulated retroreflector, MRR. This is an area in which RISE Acreo is today a world leader, together with the US Navy.

The development is taking place within the framework of the project EU H2020 C3PO, the target of which is to produce a system for satellite communication which will improve the competitiveness of the European space industry.

For more information, please contact:

Qin Wang
PhD/Senior Expert
qin.wang [at] ri.se
+46 (0)70 772 78 38