General Atomics’ Nick Bucci: Adaptive Optics to Boost Satellites’ Transmission Bandwidth


Nick Bucci, vice president for program development at General Atomics, said that adaptive optics will enable Laser Interconnect and Networking Communication System-enabled satellites to rapidly transmit more data to ground stations, Breaking Defense reported Monday.

The Space Development Agency selected General Atomics and SA Photonics to develop laser-driven satellite communications technologies scheduled for launch in June.

SDA intends to launch two General Atomics cube satellites with LINCS payload and two Astro Digital-built satellites carrying SA Photonics technologies.

SA Photonics“™ payloads are known as the Mandrake-2 satellites under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency“™s Blackjack initiative.

Dave Pechner, chief technical officer at SA Photonics, said that Optical Inter-Satellite Links are meant to demonstrate crosslink and space-to-ground link features in support of Blackjack and SDA“™s Tranche 0 space defense layer.

Derek Tournear, director of SDA and a 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, previously said that OISL is “one of the top risk areas“ that the agency is looking to address as it moves forward with the National Defense Space Architecture in low-Earth orbit.

The Tranche 0 satellites are slated to launch in 2022.

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