Space-based laser communications (Free Space Optics) is making a dent in the field of satcom, but as always news from the East doesn't seem to make much appearance in English-speaking media.

  • From states, there is lasercom research coming out of NASA JPL, NASA Goddard, Japan's JAXA/NICT agencies, and ESA (notably with their EDRS: European Data Relay Satellite system).

  • In the military world, the US Department of Defense (DoD) is building its Tranche 1 communications layer, and contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Atomics and Airbus Defense & Space are all operating in the field.

  • In the commercial world, Amazon's about to launch Kuiper, SpaceX has already launched Starlink with the capability for intersatellite optical links (IOSL), and Mynaric offers standardised HAWK and CONDOR terminals for air and space lasercom.

  • In the research world, lasercom research is notably being carried out at the Australian National University (ANU), University of Western Australia, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory to name a few.

What's happening in Russia and China?

  • $\begingroup$ well this happened: How does QUESS, China's quantum communications satellite experiment, relay entangled signals? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ These are secret developments. ....as noted in the military department, the development of command and measurement systems of a new generation is being actively pursued. "The commissioning of unified command and measurement means will allow the transition to new technologies for controlling spacecraft of the Russian orbital group... tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/12567063 $\endgroup$
    – A. Rumlin
    Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know about Russia, but saying that there is no (or few) Chinese publications on the subject, in English, doesn't seem to correspond to the results of a casual Google search. $\endgroup$
    – Ng Ph
    Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @NgPh by "much appearance" I mean there is significantly less reporting of Russian and Chinese space missions in Western media, regardless of how much is actually going on or how much funding comes from each state. And where there is reporting, the specifics are scarce. This point shouldn't be contentious at all. It's well-known that China keeps most of the details of its space efforts well-hidden. I do find one short summary from 2020: engineering.org.cn/en/10.15302/J-SSCAE-2020.03.014 $\endgroup$
    – Polar_Bear
    Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ I found this from Wiki and this from ZTE. Also this. It wasn't a systematic search. Of the course the English media may have overlooked the Chinese progress in space technologies. $\endgroup$
    – Ng Ph
    Commented Nov 9, 2021 at 19:56


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.