SpaceLink has formed a strategic partnership with Blue Marble Communications to accelerate development of advanced optical terminals. The company is driving innovation for the firm’s relay service, which uses both optical and radio frequency links for secure, continuous, high-capacity communications between spacecraft and the ground.
Blue Marble is a leading supplier of high-performance, cost-effective, scalable, space-qualified high-speed data, RF and optical communications components. The terms of the deal between the two companies, valued at more than $10 million, include technological evolution and purchase of terminals for intersatellite links compatible with the Space Development Agency (SDA) standards. A diversified supply of terminals for optical intersatellite links (OISLs) helps SpaceLink manage risk and provide options for its customers.
With the proliferation of spacecraft in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), the demand for fast, continuous, high-capacity connectivity on-orbit continues to grow. SpaceLink will relieve the bandwidth bottleneck for organizations that need to transport data quickly and securely to users anywhere in LEO or on Earth.
The SpaceLink relay network is designed to pick up where the U.S. Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) leaves off and go beyond, with unprecedented capacity that leverages today’s technology advances. Helping close the business case for Earth Observation (EO) companies, commercial space stations, satellite servicers and space tugs; SpaceLink also meets requirements for the U.S. Government and close allies that want to leverage industry solutions to maximize capabilities.
“Blue Marble takes an innovative, forward-leaning approach to developing ultra-high-bandwidth communications equipment,” said Larry Rubin, Chief Operating Officer at SpaceLink. “Our work together will not only provide SpaceLink with advanced OISLs, but together we plan to develop further capabilities that will broaden the market for the SpaceLink service.”
“SpaceLink’s free-space optical relay satellite constellation will provide a valuable, high-bandwidth data infrastructure enabling secure, real time access between any OISL-equipped LEO satellite and Earth. In addition to Blue Marble Communications delivering advanced optical terminals for SpaceLink’s first satellite constellation deployment, the agreement provides for the cooperative advancement of our existing technologies to increase the capabilities of their evolving constellation,” said Neal Nicholson, President and CEO of Blue Marble Communications. “SpaceLink is a forward-looking organization that is driving demand for OISLs and our work together will ensure the SpaceLink constellation is ready with capabilities to meet future demands when they’re needed.”