Broadband Satellite Networks

Europe’s demand for high-speed broadband bandwidth is constantly increasing. Direct broadcast, broadband multimedia and broadband internet access requirements are driving the development of next generation telecom satellites and are expected to be a key revenue generator. To cope with these requirements, telecom satellites are rapidly growing in size and weight, employing multiple beams to provide high speed connectivity and broad coverage. Vendors now look for a new technology and payload architecture to increase capacity and future-proof the satellites launched. This new technology has to deliver practical, low-power and scalable components with high performance under harsh environment conditions.

Photonics inside the satellites

BEACON aims to provide the missing enabling technologies for the development of a new generation practical, low-cost and high capacity beam-forming payload system. The BEACON technology will enable the sustained entry of photonics inside satellites, disrupting the capacity upgrade of multi-beam telecommunication satellite payloads and at the same time leverage the R&D investment to address next generation coherent inter-satellite links with fully integrated and practical components.

Benefits to the European society

BEACON systematically works towards the development of the required technology for building future telecom satellites. Application of BEACON technology advancements will enable faster and efficient high-speed satellite internet access and fuel new satellite-based services that require high-speed communication links between satellites and Earth.

Technology developed

The introduction of photonics in spacecrafts has been in the spotlight with the prospect of reducing the mass, volume and power consumption of satellite systems with the associated performance improvement and cost reduction. BEACON develops low-voltage and compact GaAs modulator arrays for high speed coherent inter-satellite links, world’s first radiation-hard multi-core/micro-structured optical amplifier arrays and high speed, miniaturized silicon photonic integrated beam-formers based on novel architectures.