Northrop Grumman (NOC), a defense company, did the first test of laser satellite communications. This is a good path to take, and Northrop wants to get a big piece of the defense market. Northrop is working on this project with a company that makes optical communication equipment called Mynaric and a company that makes avionics called Innoflight. Northrop said last week that a test of laser communication terminals that will be used on satellites in the future went well on the ground.
These are not just tests; Northrop is one of the three companies that the Pentagon has chosen to build a new network of 42 low-orbit satellites. Many organizations are interested in this area because it has a lot of benefits in terms of speed and being able to block out noise. Top businesses are eager to get in on the new trend. Sony Corp. is making laser transceivers for satellites in particular. (SONY).
Northrop is more focused on the defense segment, but it is closely related to civilian communications because commercial technologies are used in a lot of terminals and other equipment. In particular, a demonstration done by Northrop showed that government encryption equipment and civilian laser communication equipment could work together. The Mynaric CONDOR Mk2 optical transceiver was used for the tests. This device can provide encrypted communication not only between satellites or between the earth and satellites, but also between manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. As soon as 2022, the government can approve this transceiver, and Northrop will be able to use Mynaric products to compete for large, long-term contracts.