Sony: CSL successfully sent signals to KSAT commercial optical ground station in Greece


Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. (Sony CSL) and Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) have successfully demonstrated optical downlinks from a space terminal (Small Optical Link for ISS: SOLISS) on the International Space Station (ISS) to the station KSAT commercial optical ground in Greece. The communication format used conforms to the CCSDS waveform standard (141.0-B-1 + pink sheets for O3K).

The test data that was transferred from SOLISS to the KSAT ground station

This is a big step towards providing small and affordable laser communication terminals for the land and space segments. Demonstrating such capabilities during this campaign period is important to bring these technologies to the market.

“This campaign was a great opportunity for KSAT to validate the performance of our first optical ground station and the start of the future of optics,” said Hennes Henniger (Director of Optical Solutions, KSAT).

The KSAT optical ground station in Greece is the first station in the Optical Nucleus network. The Optical Nucleus Network is an informal collaboration between space agencies and industry that will provide a network of optical ground stations to serve optical terminals in space.

“The successful demonstration of optical downlinks from SOLISS to a small, affordable optical ground station does not show that the technology is fully operational, but it clearly shows the commercialization of optical space-to-ground communication,” also said Kyohei Iwamoto (chief project, Sony CSL).

SOLISS is a small optical communication terminal currently attached to the ISS for technology demonstration which is jointly developed by Sony CSL and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

KSAT’s first commercially available optical ground station in Greece

About KSAT:
Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) is the leading provider of ground network and Earth observation services, connecting space to earth. KSAT owns and operates a network of ground stations of polar and mid-latitude stations. The network consists of more than 200 antennas spread over 26 sites around the world. In 2021, KSAT installed the first commercially available optical ground station in Greece, which will be part of the optical core network.

About Sony CSL:
Sony CSL was founded in 1988 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation to pioneer new research fields and paradigms, as well as new technologies and enterprises, for the benefit of mankind and society. Sony CSL is currently working to solve social issues such as ecosystem, real-time mass data communication, and energy issues while exploring increasing human capabilities, including creativity, and pursuing AI and data analysis. In 2020, Sony CSL opened a branch in Kyoto, Japan, making it the third location after Tokyo and Paris in the pursuit of value creation.

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