Satellite lasercom terminal designer TAS Switzerland on throttling from zero to 1,200 to zero for Telesat constellation

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — One surprise in the contract Telesat expects to conclude with Thales Alenia Space for the Lightspeed broadband satellite constellation is the selection of Thales Alenia Space Switzerland (TAS Switzerland) to build 1,200 laser optical terminals to provide inter-satellite links (ISLs).

The Swiss subsidiary has been working for years on optical communications for space systems — for data-transfer links from a satellite to a ground Earth station, for future deep-space applications and, more recently, for ISLs as part of large satellite constellations.

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