Optical and quantum technologies will revolutionise connectivity on a global scale. They will boost the performance, security and resilience of our satellites exponentially, and help us safeguard our data at levels which previously were inconceivable.
ESA`s strategic programme line Space for Optical & Quantum Communications kickstarts the development of these disruptive technologies, supports the industry with research, initiates studies, plans pilots, and defines critical technology roadmaps. It is driven by the worldwide evolution towards global, digital networks moving vast amounts of data around the world. ScyLight bundles and strengthens Europe’s diverse, early-stage and increasingly advanced activities in the satcom market segment, and intends to bring these emerging technologies and businesses to maturity and commercial fruition as quickly as possible. The ScyLight programme line focuses on the development of optical inter satellite links, space to ground links, airborne optical terminals, optical ground stations and photonics for super-performant optical up- and downlinks.
Optical & Quantum Communications: We are the laboratory, we are the incubator, we are the enabler of Europe’s future in space.
ARTES 4.0 planned activities Summary table (AT, ScyLight, 4S and 5G)
News and Events
ESA-backed TNO consortium establishes first robust optical datalink
A consortium of European industry, led by Dutch firm TNO and backed by the European Space Agency (ESA), has successfully established the world’s first robust optical datalink using real-world conditions in field tests held in the Netherlands.
HydRON User Workshop - New date
ESA organised the first Workshop in February 2022 to connect with potential users of the HydRON Demonstration System (HydRON-DS). A second Workshop will take place in Decembe 2022.
5th Annual ScyLight Conference points to a bright future for optical and quantum communication
More than 150 attendees including national delegations, industrial representatives of ESA member states, ESA staff members and academic researchers met in Bonn this week for the 5th ScyLight Workshop. This was the first time the event…
ScyLight Industry Day - France
The “Fourth Industrial Revolution” comes with an increasing pace of development and digitalisation, driven - and enabled by vast amounts of data. Already today, the limitations of conventional networks impact the deployment and end user service…
ESA collaborates with Oxford University to deliver online Satellite Optical Communications course
A team of experts from the European Space Agency (ESA) and Oxford University are working to deliver a 3 half day course in May, giving an introduction to satellite optical communications.
ESA awards two contracts for laser-communication projects related to HydRON
Two consortia led by Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space respectively, recently kicked-off two projects related to HydRON, both which are being funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). The parallel contracts will allow the primes…
ESA Signs Agreement to Support In-Orbit Demonstration of Spectrum Monitoring Services
The European Space Agency (ESA), RHEA System Luxembourg, LuxSpace Sarl, Aurora Insight and the European Business Reliance Centre (EBRC) are joining forces for the development and deployment of a European Spectrum Monitoring System leveraging…
GREECONNECT Virtual Day - GREEk CONNECtivity small-satellites
The GREECONNECT Virtual Day is an online event bringing together industrial and research actors with an interest in small satellites to receive information on current and future opportunities though the Greek National Space Project. The event is…
ScyLight Virtual Industry Day - United Kingdom
The UK ScyLight Industry Day is an online event bringing together companies and research organisations alike with an interest in optical communication and photonics to discuss current opportunities for UK industry.
4th ScyLight Workshop 2021 Online Event
On the 8th and 9th June 2021, the 4th annual ScyLight workshop took place online. This year the annual event took place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the event was attended by 284 attendees, totalling 382 registrations to the…
ARTES partnership drives industry forward with next-generation ground segment solution
Project INDIGO, a flagship ESA Public Private Partnership (PPP), is wrapping up on a high note after five successful years and an impressive track record of commercial success. It’s the end of a project that has seen telecom services reach new…
Quantum communication in space moves ahead
Keeping information secure in today’s interconnected world is becoming ever more important, so ESA is supporting efforts to ensure that future communications are kept confidential.