On January 29, 2016 at 23:20h (CET) the first laser node oft the European Data Relay Satellite System (EDRS) was successfully sent to orbit aboard a Proton launcher. After about nine hours of flight the telecommunications satellite Eutelsat 9B reached its target altitude of 36,000 kilometers above the equator, where it is subjected to immediate in-orbit tests.
With this great step for the inter-satellite communication the cornerstone of the information superhighway in space was placed, which will be capable of sending up to 50 terabytes of data per day from orbit to Earth. The rapid access to satellite data is, besides Europe's independence from ground stations on other continents, one of the main advantages of the new satellite system.
Tesat-Spacecom was responsible for the development and manufacturing of the Laser Communication Terminal (LCT). Over 20 years of ongoing development and consisting of more than 7,500 items, the LCT is the centerpiece of the data link technology between satellites and allows data transfer rates of up to 1,8 gigabits per second of a distance of 45,000 kilometers.
In addition to the LCT Tesat was also responsible for the Hybrid Relay Payload (HRP) EDRS-A, including system design, manufacturing, procurement and the implementation of system tests. For this, amongst other things, modulators, TWTAs, filters and other components that have been previously acquired from the internal Parts Agency were installed.