• EDRS-C opens new chapter in broadband Earth observation

    Laser Communications Terminal on board European relay satellite enables significant higher data transfer rates and shorter access times.
  • TESAT delivers game changer for SmallSat market

    Today we can announce that we delivered our first CubeLCT to a non-disclosed, US-American customer. The CubeLCT is a small, ultra-lightweight optical data transmitter, which is capable of transferring data with 100 Megabit per second from low Earth orbit satellites directly to ground. For us, this delivery marks the starting point of a new product family focusing on NewSpace applications for small satellites and CubeSats. The development of the CubeLCT serves the demand for increasing...
  • DLR Components Conference 2019

    The 18 th DLR Components Conference took place on 23 rd and 24 th May in Bonn Königswinter. The 120 participants of the German aerospace supply industry discussed intensively about news and future topics around EEE components. The TESAT Parts Agency and the EEE Centre were represented here with three lectures from Dr. Witzany (EEE Centre), Mr. Rostewitz (EEE Centre) and Dr. Kuechen (Parts Agency).
  • 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 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?

What is Hi-FLY?

180621 hi fly logoHi-FLY started in January 2018 with an EU project funding of 6.9 million Euro under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to develop and validate innovative technologies to remarkably improve space on-board data handling and transfer capabilities. Talking primarily about Earth Observation and partly future telecommunications missions, the project consists of 12 world-leading partners from across Europe – combining experts’ knowledge from industry and science.

The plan for achieving Hi-FLY’s ambitious goals is to make substantial advances in all major elements of the data chain, from inter-satellite and on-board network, to payload processing and data compression up to protection, storage and data transmission.


Importance of Hi-FLY

The importance of Hi-FLY right now lays within the steady increase of performance, which will be demanded by rising and developing market participants in satellite communications. The demands, i.e. in cases of IoT-applications (Internet of Things) with manifold users and high data exchange rates are increasing and the continuous demand for better ground resolution, lower revisit periods, lower costs and satellite downsizing is getting louder. Therefore, answers at system and equipment level are essential.


Tesat’s Part

180621 hifly 2Tesat-Spacecom with its expertise on RF data transmission issues takes care of one of Hi-FLY’s several main objects: Increasing RF bandwidth to allow data transmission with a rate of up to 10 gigabit per second.

The next generation of RF data link requires full exploitation of Ka-Band frequency band (25.5 to 27 GHz, bandwidth 1500 MHz). The considered RF downlinks have time-variant channel characteristics that are mainly caused by rain fading and by time-variant free space loss. To maximize the throughput in such downlinks channel adaptive coding and modulation (ACM) shall be employed. To pave the way for Earth observation applications within Hi-FLY an RF link will be designed and demonstrated, which will be capable of transmitting Earth observation data at a rate of up to 10 gigabit per second.

The extremely high data-rate can only be achieved through considerable technology enhancements – especially by the use of bandwidth efficient modulation schemes and highly efficient coding schemes. A highly integrated SSPA (Solid State Power Amplifier) RF power amplifier shall be part of the system architecture, allowing an innovative approach in terms of volume and mass of the hardware equipment.

The big aim is to build a hardware demonstrator of the complete RF chain, also including the ground station receiver, which will be embedded in a complete hardware demonstrator of the overall data chain onboard. Here, a significant challenge will be the development of adequate high-speed digital interfaces required between building blocks within the overall architecture.

To test the new architecture, realistic conditions for the end-to-end demonstration will and can be created by an emulation of the RF free space transmission. This enables the opportunity to compare various modulation and coding schemes with respect to their suitability for the envisaged high data-rate downlink applications. In the end, the RF link will be verified in terms of data-rate capability, RF signal characteristics and bit-error-rate.

The project website can be accessed via http://www.hi-fly.eu.

Hi-Fly on Twitter @HiFLY_EU

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innvovation programme under grant agreement No 776151