Space News link....QuoteAirbus Negotiating SpaceX Launch for ESA-supported Laser Relay SatellitePARIS — Airbus Defence and Space is negotiating with SpaceX for a late-2016 launch of the European Space Agency’s European Data Relay System (EDRS) program’s second geostationary-orbit satellite designed to commercialize laser communications links worldwide.>
Airbus Negotiating SpaceX Launch for ESA-supported Laser Relay SatellitePARIS — Airbus Defence and Space is negotiating with SpaceX for a late-2016 launch of the European Space Agency’s European Data Relay System (EDRS) program’s second geostationary-orbit satellite designed to commercialize laser communications links worldwide.>
For EDRS, Airbus, ESA and the executive commission of the 28-nation European Union on Nov. 27 celebrated the successful laser communications link between the AlphaSat satellite in geostationary orbit and the Sentinel 1A Earth observation satellite in low Earth orbit.Evert Dudok, head of Airbus Defence and Space’s Communications, Intelligence and Security division, said that as of Nov. 27 about 14 such links had been successfully demonstrated.
In addition, DLR, the German Aerospace Center, has developed satellite-to-satellite laser communication terminals embarked as technological demonstration payload on the Alphasat mission. ESA plans to use the optical communication terminal developed by Germany as the main operational payload for its European Data Relay System missions
Orbiting from pole to pole about 700 km up, Sentinel-1A transmits data to Earth routinely, but only when it passes over its ground stations in Europe. However, geostationary satellites, hovering 36 000 km above Earth, have their ground stations in permanent view so they can stream data to Earth all the time.
After a year-long wait in storage for a Proton rocket to become available, the EDRS-A laser communications payload and its Eutelsat host satellite are finally at the Baikonur cosmodrome and being prepared for launch in late January.EDRS-A is the first element of the European Data Relay System, which will collect information from low-orbiting satellites via laser and send it down to Earth in near-real time. It was packed into an Antonov plane by Airbus Toulouse, France and flown to Kazakhstan in November.The Eutelsat-9B/EDRS-A satellite has undergone a plethora of tests to make sure it is space-ready after its journey.