• Nanosatellite sees the light

    Laser Communications for a new age in space TESAT, KSAT and GomSpace have partnered up to introduce full optical communications capability for new innovative small satellite missions and space-based services.
  • Tesat on the road to success

    Tesat registers increasing order intake Continuing high level of investment in research and development New CEO, Dr. Marc Steckling, expects 20 % growth in the next few years
  • Parts Agency for ORION's European Service Module

    The European Service Module (ESM) Flight Unit 1, a part of the ORION spacecraft, has successfully been shipped from Germany to the US and is now prepared for its marriage with the NASA crew vehicle to be made ready for the launch at the Kennedy Space Center. Not just being a great success for NASA, ESA and Airbus, but also for the Tesat-Spacecom Parts Agency. As subcontractor of Airbus, TESAT is leading the Coordinated Parts Procurement (CPPA) for the European Service Module, which occupies a...
  • Laser Communications Technology from Tesat setting new records

    As the worlds’ only serial manufacturer of in-orbit certificated and tested laser communication terminals, Tesat is chasing its own records. Now another LCT135 terminal has been produced, tested and qualified in record time and is ready for delivery.
  • German space alliance relies on technology from Tesat-Spacecom

    As prime for the scientific-technical payload and responsible for the military repeater, Tesat-Spacecom is responsible for the design, construction and verification of the core elements of the German space mission “Heinrich Hertz”.
  • Live: Launch of Aeolus

    Aladin’s magic lamp ready for take off: After 16 years of preparation and tough technical difficulties, Aeolus is finally ready to go for its final destination in low earth orbit. Weighing 1.4 tons, Aeolus carries the payload “Aladin”(Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument), which is based on the concept of LIDAR (Light detection and ranging), a method related to RADAR, but with laser beams for distance measuring instead of radio waves.
  • VDI-Nachrichten: Shining Light

    Recently an editor of the VDI-Nachrichten paid us a visit for his research on laser communications and EDRS-C, having no fear bringing our experts to their limits and asking difficult and uncomfortable questions. The result is an exciting and extensive article with the headline „Lichtgestalt“ („Shining Light“). The article describes our LCT135, which we developed and produced in cooperation with DLR IKN, and its role within Airbus’ SpaceDataHighway. Many thanks to Iestyn Hartbrich for the...
  • Live: Launch of 4 new Galileo satellites

    The final countdown for Tara, Samuel, Anna and Ellen begins: Only 1 hour and 30 minutes until the new Galileo satellites are launched into orbit onboard an Ariane 5 launcher. In short: the European Galileo program is the counterpart to the US GPS system and is though an independent, global satellite navigation system. Tesat-Spacecom's part for the four new satellites was to deliver the essential TT&C transponders, which are being used to properly determine the position of an object in space...
  • Tesat-Spacecom participates in EU research and innovation programme Hi-FLY

    Tesat takes part in European Union’s research and innovation programme Hi-FLY to take RF data links to the next stage. But let’s first clarify: What is the Hi-FLY project? And why is it so important?
  • Gigabit Connectivity for the International Space Station

    Berlin, 26.04.2018: At today’s press conference Airbus Defence and Space, the Institute for Communication and Navigation of the German Aerospace Center (DLR-IKN) and Tesat-Spacecom published their cooperation with the aim to equip the ISS with a high capacity direct-to-earth Laser Communication Terminal.
  • World's smallest Laser Communication Terminal from Tesat on track - CDR...

    Backnang, 12.04.2018: Tesat's Laser Communication Terminal for CubeSats, CubeL, is on track after recently the Critical Design Review (CDR) was successfully held at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen. This was an important milestone for the development program on the way to its demonstration mission, which is planned to launch later this year.
  • 10,000 laser links between satellites established

    Satellite communication reaches new peak Backnang, 11.04.2018: Tesat-Spacecom established 10,000 connections between satellites using its Laser Communication Terminals (LCT). Tesat's LCTs transmit massive amounts of data at up to 1.8 Gbps over distances of 80,000 km in orbit. In addition, the company develops significantly smaller LCTs for Direct-to-Earth applications.
  • Tesat celebrates 10 Years of Laser Communications in Space

    Backnang, 21.02.2018: Exactly ten years ago on 21st February, 2008, a government-to-government cooperation between the United States and Germany to establish a laser link between two operational satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) started a new chapter in the history of space. The German radar satellite TerraSAR-X and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency satellite NFIRE, both equipped with Laser Communication Terminals (LCT) manufactured by Tesat-Spacecom, established the first successful and...
  • Advanced capability evolution for optical Laser Communication

    The LCT135 with its 135 mm narrow aperture is the smallest terminal in the geostationary orbit. Working in a daily routine it is the powerhouse within the European Data Relay System called SpaceDataHighway. Under the ESA ScyLight program Tesat-Spacecom has now spawned the next evolution step for our well known GEO Laser Communication Terminals LCT135, by further developing and implementing new additional features to make even more applications possible. Therefore the GEO LCT135 will get –...
  • Live: Launch of SES-14 and Al Yah 3

    Tomorrow, on the 25th January, at 23:20 CET (live stream starts at 22:05 CET) an Ariane 5 ECA will launch two satellites - the SES-14 and the Al Yah 3 - into a geostationary transfer orbit. A rocket launch per se is a event you don't want to miss, but - needless to say - for us it's always a very special moment when our equipment gets shot into space, such as a variety of Ku- and Ka-Band OMUXes, IMUXes, Switches, Filters and MPMs.
Conflict Minerals

We see the materials gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum in our every day life. Each of our devices contains at least on of these raw materials, be it gold in the bonding wires, tantalum in the capacitor, tungsten in a traveling wave tube amplifier or tin in a soldered point. The sources of these raw materials are mines in resource rich countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. There the profit out of the export of the raw materials does not lead to a wealthy economy but finances the lasting for years civil war.

In this conflict region around Congo in the last 20 years more than 5,4 million people died as a result of the civil war. This is the deadliest conflict since the Second World War. Thereby the Congolese army and more than 40 different rebellious groups lead fierce battles for the raw materials in the Congolese ground, because with the profit of the raw material sale weapons, ammunition and soldiers can be paid. The victims of these fights are the local people, who are forced to work and be exploited. Sometimes it comes to violence and sexual offenses against women. An approach to improving this situation is to take the rebels their money source away, by ensuring that they are not longer able to sell the raw materials.

In the year 2010 Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Franc Act, in which the section 1502 “conflict minerals” anchors this approach in a specific law. It says that US companies, which are listed on the US stock market, have to submit an annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, in which they state whether they use conflict minerals in their products or not. Conflict minerals are defined as gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum. If one of these materials is in the finalc product, the country of origin has to be proven additionally.

160502 conflict minerals 2

With the publication of these reports the companies that don’t control the origin of their raw materials shall be pilloried. The corporate social responsibility of a company nowadays is becoming increasingly important so the companies pass on the public pressure to their suppliers. World wide more than 270,000 suppliers are affected, which on their turn don’t want to lose US companies as their customers. This legislation has caused between three and four billion US-Dollar on costs for compliance, from which about one third the suppliers have to bear out of obligingness to stay competitive.

In Europe there is no legal restriction of conflict minerals at the moment, but requirements of US customers to avoid them are transferred to Tesat-Spacecom. Because of this in October 2015 a new office was created, the “Conflict Minerals Expert” in the area Supply Chain Management. The conflict minerals expert is the first contact for customer inquiries to this topic. Also he elaborates a strategy how the requirements in context of the supply chain can be transferred to the suppliers of Tesat-Spacecom.

For some time the EU works on a legal commitment to control the origin of conflict minerals, too. A result is expected for this year. That will affect about 880,000 companies in the EU. All the better that Tesat-Spacecom is already on the way to fulfill these requirements.

 

IMAGE SOURCE: Kenny Katombe / Reuters, Siegfried Modola / Reuters