A joint Israeli-German project has launched development of a laser-based satellite broadband link designed to allow communications between satellites.

The Broadband Laser Inter Satellite Link (BLISL) is being developed by the Israeli Space Research Institute of the Technion Institute of Technology and the German Institute for Aerospace Technologies (IAT).

Research is focused on developing a small lightweight optical terminal for inter-satellite communications, which would allow small and micro satellites to orbit Earth in formations.

Professor Mauricio Guelman, head of Technion's Space Research Institute, says the electro-optical transceiver and  tracking system will use the same core optics, while the same laser will be used for the optical transmitter and the acquisition and tracking beacon. Data  transfer rate is up to 2Gbytes/s.

Last year the European Space Agency pioneered satellite communication using a laser beam (Flight International, 4-10 December, 2001).

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Source: Flight International