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Safran Data Systems is taking advantage of the French government's recovery plan to develop the optical ground stations of tomorrow

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Safran Data Systems is part of the selected consortium for the "Optical Communications" (Co-Op) tender. Safran Data Systems will play the role of leader in the ground segment and will be the architect for the optical station.

A part of the French recovery plan dedicated to Space

Operated by CNES, the "Space" component of the "France Relance" recovery plan focuses on 5 topics whose goal is to meet the identified needs of the French Space industry (from large groups to startups), both in terms of technology and time to market (launchers and orbital systems, virtualized ground segment, terminals,…). This financial support accelerates innovation and prepare French Space companies for the evolutions of their markets.


"Optical Communications" (Co-Op) tender

The "Co-Op" program is one of the five topics of the French support plan dedicated to Space. It aims to provide structure and funding to the French ecosystem of companies with expertise in optical space communications. The consortium is responsible for developing technical solutions that provide very high-speed optical communications between a network of optical ground stations (OGS) and telecommunications satellites in geostationary orbit.

Optical space communications face several technical challenges, and before their full potential can be reached, a number of key components and technologies will need to be developed. “France Relance” will accelerate these developments and facilitate a competitive French offer in this area.

 

Safran Data Systems: a leader in the ground segment and architect of the optical station

Safran Data Systems is part of the selected consortium for the "Optical Communications" (Co-Op) tender. Safran Data Systems will play the role of leader in the ground segment and will be the architect for the optical station.

Unlike a traditional ground station, which uses a radiofrequency (RF) antenna, an optical ground station employs telescopes and optical-mechanical components to send and receive laser communications. Optical space communications are very sensitive to atmospheric disturbances, including turbulence. To compensate for these effects, the station will be equipped with advanced "adaptive" optics systems to provide real-time correction of wavefront errors in the transmitted and received waves. These operations will require automation to enable the commercial exploitation of the future OGS station.

With its expertise in the ground station market, Safran Data Systems will be ready to produce these solutions once the technologies are qualified and operational.
A challenge of this nature calls for teamwork, and Safran Data Systems will be working in close cooperation with Safran Electronics & Defense, Safran Reosc and the French companies Alpao, Bertin, Cailabs, Lumibird and OGS Technologies.

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