Government and military customers have been at the epicentre of demand for optical satellite communications as it transitions from nascent and equipment-centric to a robust emerging ecosystem. Organizations such as SDA, DARPA have been key facilitators for this move through multiple contracts for their planned Tranche 0, Tranche 1 and Blackjack constellations, and research programs.
The market for optical satellite communications has shaped up in recent years, led by the rise in New Space satellite network operators requiring high bandwidth intersatellite links and remote sensing solutions that demand greater downlink capabilities. Still in its early stages, this market continues to be largely equipment-centric. However, multiple players have moved on from.
CACI is betting on it heavily. In December, the company completed its acquisition of SA Photonics, a company that Wood says was strongly positioned to address the mass market for optical communications that will be created by the LEO mega-constellations. And this isn’t the first investment that the $6 billion a year contracting giant has.
As satellite communication technology has caught up to the market through past decades, one of the key demand drivers has been that of ever-increasing capacity and data throughputs. High-throughput satellites have become more common, powered by high data rate inter-satellite links in the case of non-GEO constellations, and earth observation sensors have improved tremendously, necessitating.
NSR’s newly released Optical Satellite Communications, 4 Edition (OSC4) projects a $2 Billion Optical Satcom market for equipment, driven primarily by upcoming Non-GEO constellations. As Optical Satcom growth trends upwards at a 47% CAGR, projected demand reaches 6,000+ laser communication terminal (LCT) units over the next decade. Optical Satcom is situated to significantly impact both.