ST2C's role in laser communication in space

Uwe Sterr, ST2C’s CEO is active in the field of laser communication between satellites since 1998.

Laser communication in space

Projects of ST2C in the field of laser communication in space:

Project partners have been:

  • Tesat-Spacecom
  • DLR
  • ESA
  • MDA
  • General Dynamics
  • Aerospace

Starting in 1998 all dedication culminated in the operational service of EDRS (European Data Relay Service). The service proofed that laser communication in space is a reliable and highly advantageous technique and a very attractive complement to microwave communication

The following video gives a good introduction into the project and the benefits of laser communication.

Machine learning

ST2C utilizes state of the art machine learning algorithms to optimize laser communication systems performance.

  • Neural networks
    • CNN
    • RNN
  • Support Vector Machines (SVM)
  • Random forest
  • Gradient boosted trees
  • Reinforced learning

In orbit verification

ST2C was involved in the in orbit verification of NFIRE/TSX as well as AlphaSat. For NFIRE ST2C was contracted for

  • Integration of the laser terminal onto the satellite
  • Launch preparation
  • Early checkout
  • TM analysis
  • Parameter optimization

Simulation of laser communication terminals

ST2C developed a simulation tool which is utilized for - Verification of systems - Optimizing parameters of algorithms - Develop requirements for terminal and S/C hardware

The simulation gives insight into duration and probability impact on spatial acquisition of:

  • Vibrations
  • Link margin (false hits)
  • Timing of phases
  • Initial mispointing