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.