Voyager Space Inc. (Voyager) and Space Micro, Inc., powered by Voyager, have received an award from the Space Development Agency (SDA) for a 24-month development contract for advanced, one-to-many, optical communications using Managed Optical Communication Array (MOCA) technology to support Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations. Space Micro partnered with BridgeComm Inc., a leader in optical wireless communications solutions and services.
Laser communications are resistant to electromagnetic and radio frequency interference, making this type of optical communication ideal for Optical Inter-Satellite Links, as well as for high data rate backhaul links from spacecraft to ground stations and spacecraft to drone links.
BridgeComm started work in 2018 to advance the state of the art in point-to-point (PtP) optical terminals by developing an One-to-Many capability layer for optical wireless communications (OWC) applications in the form of MOCA technology, which supports point-to-multipoint (PtMP) communications in the optical domain. To date, the OWC technologies offered have supported PtP communications. However, the features of PtMP communications will enable OWC to be on par with radio frequency (RF)—and a true complementary technology—in terms of terminal coverage. OWC can provide the benefits of high-speed and increased security, while also providing the multi-user coverage that a modern communications systems requires.
“We are thrilled that SDA has selected Space Micro, along with our outstanding partners at BridgeComm,” said David Strobel, Executive Chair of Space Micro. “We are looking forward to further testing our technology to enhance the overall architecture in LEO.“
“When we combine Space Micro’s current space-based optical communications products with data rates up to 100 Gbps, MOCA will provide enhanced LEO constellation capability for One-to-Many or Point-to-Multipoint secure communications,” said Space Micro CEO, David R. Czajkowski.
“RF has served us well, evolving to meet the increasing demands for higher performance within any mobile communications system, though they come with physical limitations for speed and capacity,” said Barry Matsumori, CEO of BridgeComm. “OWC addresses the needs of end users, while complimenting RF with point-to-multi-point capability. We’ve seen great success in our demo and are excited for our customers to reap the benefits of MOCA.”
“We are big supporters of SDA’s efforts to engage with commercial space companies to expand our country’s capabilities and resiliency in space,” said Matthew Kuta, President and COO at Voyager. “Congratulations to Space Micro and BridgeComm on this win, setting the stage for improved communications and security in space.”
This development is supported by the Space Development Agency (SDA) under Contract No. HQ085022C0005.
Space Micro Inc., powered by Voyager Space and based in San Diego, CA, is an engineering-driven supplier of affordable, high-performance, radiation-hardened communications, electro-optics, and digital systems for use in commercial, civil, and military space applications around the world. Space Micro solutions include Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TT&C) transmitters, mission data transmitters, space cameras, star trackers, image processors, Command & Data Handling (C&DH) systems and laser communications systems.