Europe’s optical satellite communications plan is to pick up where SDA leaves off on technical standards

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — With new builders of optical inter-satellite links popping up like daisies, European governments and industry are seeking to preserve what looks like a leading position with a program that ends with in-orbit demonstrations of LEO and GEO satellites, and an associated ground segment, operational by 2027.

The 22-nation European Space Agency (ESA) began its HydRon project some five years ago and received initial funding at ESA’s 2019 ministerial conference.

The project is now preparing a proposal for the next ESA ministerial, scheduled . . .

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