Robert Geckle, chairman and CEO of Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, said the company is planning to produce satellite laser communications terminals in the U.S. in the next couple of years, Breaking Defense reported Tuesday.
“I’m seeing a real strong demand signal for laser comms, for investment in laser communication terminals. Also star trackers, also other elements, but I’m focusing on laser communication terminals because I think that’s the strongest candidate to build in the US,” he told the publication.
“I would predict that we’ll be doing that in the next two years,” Geckle added.
Optical intersatellite links and other optical communications systems are key to enabling networks of low-Earth orbit satellites that governments and companies develop to provide high-speed, space-based communications and support remote sensing and other missions.
Geckle noted that Airbus currently manufactures most of its “space equipment” in Europe through its Germany-based Tesat-Spacecom subsidiary. He said he believes there is an opportunity for the U.S. arm of Airbus to bring a European-made technology to the U.S. and “Americanize it” for national security and military applications.
“Everybody wins. The shareholder wins, the taxpayer wins, the warfighter wins,” he added.