• 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.
Sentinel-2A

After six months of intensive testing, the first Sentinel-2 satellite developed and built by Airbus Defence and Space for the European Space Agency (ESA) is getting ready for its mission in space.

Sentinel-2A will be the second satellite of the Copernicus program to be launched. Copernicus is an operational project led by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA). The Copernicus Sentinels supply remote sensing data of the Earth to deliver key operational services related to environment and security.

1501xx Sentinel 2A fit2Sentinel-2 is the next important milestone to deploy Europe´s Copernicus program for which Airbus Defence and Space is a key contributor. Airbus Defence and Space is prime contractor for five of the seven Sentinel missions, and has built state-of-the-art instruments and components for the others. Sentinel-2A is equipped with a laser terminal made by Tesat-Spacecom to transmit data to satellites in geostationary orbit carrying the European Data Relay System, EDRS. These satellites then transmit the Sentinel-2 data to the ground. This principle was first demonstrated in November 2014 when Sentinel-1A, which carries a similar laser terminal, linked up with Alphasat to deliver data.

In IABG’s facilities in Ottobrunn (near Munich, Germany) Airbus Defence and Space engineers put Sentinel-2A through a rigorous test campaign that included acoustic testing to simulate the huge noise generated at launch, vibration and separation shock testing to simulate mechanical launch loads, and thermal vacuum testing to simulate the environment in space. Marking a significant milestone in preparations for launch, Sentinel-2A’s laser terminal, or ‘optical communication payload’, has recently come through a set of rigorous tests. The tests included a ‘trajectory test’ where the unit’s pointing assembly was swivelled, as it would in orbit to align itself with the geostationary EDRS satellite.

Janice Patterson from ESA said, “The optical communications payload is very complex and the success of this recent test is a testament to our collaboration with Tesat-Spacecom GmbH, who developed the laser communication terminal and the downlink system, the DLR German Aerospace Center, who contributed to the funding, and Airbus Defence and Space, the Sentinel-2 prime contractor.”

The 1.1 ton satellite is now scheduled to be shipped to the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, in April. The S2A launch by VEGA is scheduled in June. Sentinel-2A will deliver optical images from the visible to short-wave infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum from an altitude of 786 kilometres using 13 spectral bands with a resolution of 10, 20 or 60 meters and a swath width of 290 km. This combination is unprecedented in the category optical imagers. The data will be used for studying land use, soil sealing, land management, agriculture, forestry, natural disasters (floods, forest fires, landslides, erosion) and to assist humanitarian aid missions. Environmental observation in coastal areas likewise forms part of these activities, as does glacier, ice and snow monitoring.

Sentinel-2B, which is identical in design, is planned for launch mid-2016. These two satellites orbiting the earth every 100 minutes will be able to capture images of our planet’s entire land surface in less than five days.

IMAGE SOURCE: ESA (C.Wildner), ESA/ATG medialab