General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has secured a contract from the Space Development Agency (SDA) to showcase the capabilities of its Optical Communication Terminals (OCTs) on the GA-EMS GA-75 spacecraft while in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This contract aims to demonstrate the potential of next-generation optical communication technologies that will offer faster, more secure, and higher fidelity transmissions, ensuring continuous connectivity between Earth and space.
Scott Forney, the president of GA-EMS, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration with SDA and the opportunity to demonstrate their OCT capability. The OCTs, developed, built, and tested by GA-EMS, will provide robust space-to-space communication in challenging environments and establish and maintain links according to SDA standards and requirements. This technology will support a wide network of satellites, enabling efficient data and information sharing, as well as collective on-orbit computing resources to meet customer and mission needs.
To facilitate this project, GA-EMS is currently designing and constructing two OCTs that will be integrated onto the GA-EMS GA-75 spacecraft. The GA-75 is a resilient, modular, and configurable half-ESPA bus design that can accommodate various communication and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) payloads and missions. This commercially available platform utilizes standard payload interfaces, ensuring seamless integration and quick delivery times for mission readiness. Additionally, it is compatible with multiple launch vehicles and can either package two spacecraft per ESPA port or fill a single ESPA port depending on the size of the mission payload.
Overall, this collaboration between GA-EMS and SDA holds great promise for advancing optical communication technologies in space. The successful demonstration of the OCTs on the GA-75 spacecraft will pave the way for faster, more secure, and reliable communication between Earth and space, revolutionizing connectivity in the future.