SDA Funds Demonstration of Satellite Laser Links

The Space Development Agency has awarded General Atomics a $14 Million Contract to produce two optical communication terminals and demonstrate them in space. The purpose of the terminals is to provide high bandwidth communications while in a degraded environment. The U.S. Space Force plans to use this type of communication as a part of its new mesh network. Laser communication has the advantage of high bandwidths but suffers from environmental challenges such as radiation or orbital debris.

Mynartic, another company that produces these terminals, claims that laser communication is inherently more secure than RF communication. On their website they say that laser communication is “So secure we wouldn’t know how to hack it”. History has shown us that anything can and will be hacked given enough time.