SpaceLink to test gigabit satellite technology on the International Space Station

The demonstration aims to validate SpaceLink’s hybrid optical and radio frequency (RF) network and optical terminal technology, and will provide real-time voice, video and data exchange between the ISS crew, onboard systems , experiences and land users. “Our demonstration on the ISS is the first step in proving SpaceLink’s capabilities to advance space science and the emerging space economy,” said David Bettinger, CEO of SpaceLink. “The CASIS funding marks an important milestone in SpaceLink’s roadmap to deliver massive bandwidth to organizations that need real-time connectivity between space and ground.

The amount of funding and the length of the contract are still not finalized, although SpaceLink’s chief technology officer, Rob Singh, has told SpaceNews that he intends to launch its first satellites in 2024. SpaceLink has priority spectrum in MEO, initially secured by startup Audacy Corporation, which EOS acquired in May 2020.

Founded in 2020 and based in the Washington DC area, SpaceLink is a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Electro Optic Systems Holdings Limited, a public company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. CEO Bettinger was previously part of OneWeb.

Spacelink is planning a relay constellation of four medium earth orbit (MEO) spacecraft, which will primarily provide services to low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. MEO relay satellites will always be in sight of LEO satellites, providing them with continuous coverage or immediate download instead of waiting for lower orbiting satellites to fly over ground stations. “Working with CASIS to install optical communications on the ISS is an important step for SpaceLink and for the future of the global satellite communications market,” Glen Tindall, CEO of SpaceLink’s parent company, EOS Communications Systems. “This is also a historic agreement for EOS as Australia’s largest space company and supports our vision of optical communications to serve our major customers in the United States and Australia.

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