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In order to assess the utilization of optical technologies on board next generation communication satellites (performance advantages, extra capabilities), the objectives of this activity are:
The main challenges initially identified are:
An optical satellite network have the potential to reach global coverage connectivity, with the additional advantages of providing order of magnitude more throughput bandwidth, in comparison to what current RF satellite systems can offer.
Moreover, the use of optical technologies is a key enabler for ultra-secure communication with the use of, for example, quantum key distribution.
Three scenarios are proposed as future space optical transport networks.
The project was kicked off early 2019, and use cases have been defined. The business case and value proposition is currently being developed.