Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…
With a Bit of NASA Help, Industry Looks to Laser Communications
The infrared light used for laser communications differs from radio waves because the infrared light packs the data into significantly tighter waves, meaning ground stations can receive more data at once. While laser communications aren’t necessarily faster, more data can be transmitted in one downlink. (Credits: NASA)

By Andrew Wagner
NASA’s Spinoff Publication

Visible light has been used to communicate for centuries: lanterns on ships and Morse code flashes allowed information to be conveyed at a distance. But now there’s a better way to use light to communicate over even further distances and with far more accuracy – lasers.

Launching in 2021, NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) is going to geostationary orbit, where it’ll communicate with the ground at gigabit speeds. It’s the agency’s latest step to get more data from space per downlink.

NASA has also partnered with companies to improve the technology needed to make laser communications work, and one of these companies is building off that partnership to help customers get the data they need.


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  • June 23, 2021
Es’hailSat, BridgeSat Bring Secure, Low-Cost Laser Satellite Communications to the Middle East

DENVER and DOHA (Es’hailSat/BridgeSat PR) — Es’hailSat, Qatar Satellite Company and BridgeSat today announced a strategic relationship that will provide businesses and governments across the Middle East with affordable access to laser-based satellite broadband services. This is the latest milestone toward BridgeSat’s goal of providing organizations worldwide with a faster, less expensive and most secure alternative to traditional radio frequency (RF) solutions for low earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary earth orbit (GEO) applications.

BridgeSat owns and operates a growing global network of optical ground stations (OGS) and complimentary satellite terminals that provide high-bandwidth, high-security solutions for unique applications while complementing RF in hybrid networks. Es’hailSat owns and operates a growing number of Ka- and Ku-band satellites serving broadcasters, businesses and governments in the MENA region and beyond.


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  • February 28, 2019
Boeing HorizonX Ventures Invests in BridgeSat to Advance Satellite Communications

CHICAGO, Sept. 10, 2018 (Boeing PR) — Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced its investment in Denver-based BridgeSat Inc., an optical communications solutions company enabling the future of connectivity in space through a network of ground stations and proprietary space terminals.

BridgeSat is developing a global network of optical ground stations (OGS) to transmit large amounts of data into space quickly and reliably. Its stations support low Earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary (GEO) satellite optical communications, enabling secure transmissions between satellites, other spacecraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and high-altitude aircrafts.


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  • September 12, 2018
BridgeSat Announces Formation of Advisory Board and Appoints Members

DENVER–(BridgeSat PR)–BridgeSat, Inc. (BridgeSat) announced today the formation of an Advisory Board to assist in its mission of expanding use of optical communication to meet the increasing demands of satellite technology. The diversely experienced Advisory Board will oversee matters related to BridgeSat’s growth and development as well as identify and capitalize on industry trends that emerge and impact the satellite sphere.

The initial appointments are Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF, Ret., Douglas Loverro, DASD Space Policy, Ret., Sandra Magnus, PhD, Astronaut, Ret., and William Parker, DOS, Ret.


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  • August 11, 2018
Matsumori Leaves Virgin Galactic, Joins BridgeSat

Barry Matsumori

BOSTON, July 12, 2017 (BridgeSat PR) – Allied Minds plc (LSE: ALM) today announces the appointment of Barry Matsumori as CEO of BridgeSat, Inc. (BridgeSat) effective 17 July 2017. The appointment follows the successful Series A funding round announced by BridgeSat on 5 May 2017. BridgeSat, an Allied Minds subsidiary, was founded on technology sourced from The Aerospace Corporation, seeking to revolutionise satellite data downlinking with an advanced optical communications network. Delivering faster, more reliable and affordable data transmission to the rapidly growing low earth orbit (LEO) satellite sector, will enable a new era of applications and services.


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  • July 12, 2017
Surrey Satellite & BridgeSat to Develop Satellite Laser Communications

surrey_logoENGLEWOOD, Colo., and BOSTON, Mass., April 12, 2016 (Surrey Satellite & BridgeSat PR) Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC and BridgeSat Inc. are pleased to announce a partnership to work towards developing a free-space optical communications system that will provide secure data downlinks from satellites to a proprietary ground network at faster speeds than equivalent radio frequency solutions.

Under this partnership, Surrey will build the flight laser terminal units that will communicate with BridgeSat’s global ground network. Together, Surrey and BridgeSat aim to provide users with a “one-stop” solution to transmit data at up to 10 gigabits per second, per link.


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  • May 4, 2016
Bandwidth Starved Satellite Imagery Providers Could Bring Data to the Ground Via Lasers

On 22 October 2013, NASA's Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), on board the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, made history using a pulsed laser beam to transmit data over the 400 000 km between Earth and the Moon at a record-breaking download rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). (Credit: NASA)

On 22 October 2013, NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), on board the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, made history using a pulsed laser beam to transmit data over the 400 000 km between Earth and the Moon at a record-breaking download rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). (Credit: NASA)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Draper PR) Commercial satellite imagery firms launch new constellations to take frequent, high-resolution video and photographs of the Earth to improve decision-making for agricultural, environmental, humanitarian, commercial and national security issues. Increased accessibility of images and data from space provide views of the Earth that help optimize tasks ranging from planting crops to shaping traffic patterns on land and sea.


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  • September 12, 2015