New airborne laser comms terminal to fly in 2024
Airbus and VDL Group have joined forces to develop and manufacture a laser communications terminal which will take to the skies for the first time in 2024.
The terminal, known as UltraAir, is based on development work led by Airbus and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO).
UltraAir enables large amounts of data to be exchanged across a network of ground stations and satellites in geostationary orbit.
The solution will enable crewed aircraft and UAS to connect within a combat cloud environment with the help of laser-based satellite constellations.
The laser medium allows for high transmission rates that are hard to jam and have a low probability of interception.
From 2024, Airbus and VDL Group will industrialise the prototype. A flight test of this industrialised version is planned to fly on an aircraft in 2025.
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