BEACON at a glance

BEACON is an application-driven, technology-intensive project that develops the necessary photonic integration technology for developing key components that perform critical functionalities for next generation high capacity flexible telecom satellite payloads.

Mission statement

BEACON aims to provide an enabling photonics technology capable to disrupt the transition to multi-beam satellites. Addressing cost, performance and volume, BEACON invests on the right mix of 3 photonic technologies used in terrestrial telecommunications, i.e. electro-optics, fibre-optics and silicon photonics, and combines them to develop photonic RF processing, amplification and beam-forming sub-systems.

BEACON develops photonic components applicable to space, including linear GaAs Mach-Zehnder modulators, scalable multi-core radiation-hard Erbium-doped optical fibre amplifiers and CMOS-compatible silicon photonic integrated circuits. BEACON integrates the system with photonic beam-former control and antenna array to demonstrate that the technology can scale to high capacities with considerable savings in size/power against current systems. Component space assessment will guide the technology towards fully space qualified systems.

Framework

The project runs from February 2014 to January 2017 and is co-funded by the European Union, Research Executive Agency, Space Unit.