Laser Light Communications LLC was launched yesterday at the World Satellite Finance Forum in Paris, and the new company (a solely held subsidiary of Washington, D.C.-based Pegasus Global Holdings) intends to deploy and operate what it believes will be the world’s first commercial satellite communications constellation based entirely on optical-wave technology.

Notes Clifford W. Beek, managing director, "Our aim is to offer telecom service providers, commercial enterprises and government users a high-quality service with an efficient technology platform – an all-optical integrated satellite and terrestrial communications platform. It is expected that Laser Light’s global routing options will align telecom carriers with service capabilities reaching symmetrical bidirectional connectivity at OC-192 speeds.”

Here’s how it works: The planned constellation will be made up of 12 satellites (8 primary; 4 spares) in Medium Earth Orbit (10,500 kilometers high) with an operating system capacity of 4.8 Tbps, including sat/sat optical crosslinks and sat/ground optical up/down links of 200 Gbps, without reliance on radio frequency (RF) spectrum. Laser Light plans to interconnect its proposed Optical Satellite System (OSS) with the global fiber network – terrestrial and undersea – “establishing a truly meshed optical network, ensuring worldwide coverage at service levels and connectivity options previously unattainable by other satellite platforms,” it says.

According to Robert H. Brumley, senior managing director, "Laser Light may truly be a ‘game changer’ in the delivery of large quantities of bandwidth from a satellite platform to the global fiber network system. Laser Light’s potential service delivery advantage is made possible by the decades of research conducted by Raytheon Company in the field of free space optical lasers.”

He continues, "Laser Light will benefit from Raytheon’s technology, engineering expertise and pending patents through an exclusive licensing agreement, enabling the commercial communications market to benefit from the deployment of this next-generation, highly complementary, all OSS."

Raytheon’s Take

The key enablers of the Laser Light next-gen OSS will be Raytheon’s optical-wave StarBeam technologies. Comments Stephen D. Nordel, Raytheon’s SAS program director, "Raytheon’s patent-pending StarBeam technologies takes full advantage of the latest advances in lasers, optical networking technologies and satellite payload size, weight and power designs, including technology that Raytheon developed in U.S. government programs."

Laser Light says it will start vendor selections for spacecraft, commercial launch and field trials of its meshed optical-wave communications network immediately, and it anticipates a 1Q17 deployment of its OSS, with service availability mid-2017.

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