World’s Smallest Satellite Laser Communication Terminal Passes CDR

CubeL (Credit: Tesat)

BACKNANG, Germany 12.04.2018 Tesat PR) — Tesat’s Laser Communication Terminal for CubeSats, CubeL, is on track after recently the Critical Design Review (CDR) was successfully held at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen. This was an important milestone for the development program on the way to its demonstration mission, which is planned to launch later this year.

CubeL is a joint development program between the Optical Communication Systems (OCS) group of the DLR Institute of Communications and Navigation (IKN) and Tesat-Spacecom as the industrial partner. The successful work split of the product development between DLR IKN and Tesat is the key of this new space product.

“It is great to see how the teams are transferring scientific cutting-edge technology into a real commercial product line”, said Philipp Biller, Product Manager at Tesat-Spacecom.

With a size of only 1x1x0.3U (~10x10x3cm³) and a mass of about 350 gram the CubeL is the smallest laser communication terminal on the market. The data rate of 100Mbit/s will help to overcome the current bottleneck of today’s downlink technologies for CubeSats by a factor of 100 compared to common UHF links and enable new big data generating applications such as hyper spectral imaging.

“Introducing CubeL is a consequent expansion of Tesat’s unique laser communication product portfolio to offer both edges of the market. From high performance GEO to GEO inter-satellite terminals to ultra small low cost solutions for smaller satellite platforms”, said Matthias Motzigemba, Tesat’s Head of Sales Communication Systems.

About Tesat-Spacecom

At Tesat-Spacecom in Backnang, around 1,100 employees develop, manufacture and distribute systems and equipment for telecommunications via satellite. The product range includes highly reliable devices such as travelling wave tube amplifiers, multiplexers, switches, modulators, as well as entire systems, payloads, and world leading, unique optical terminals for data transmission via laser. To date, far more than 700 space flight projects have been accomplished.