C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

General Atomics completes ground test on laser-based communication system

21 February 2020

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems completed live ground testing of the company’s Airborne Laser Communication System (ALCoS), using the laser-based communication system to establish a datalink with a satellite operating in geosynchronous orbit (GEO) for the first time.

During the test, the ALCoS platform linked with Laser Communication Terminal (LCT) 135 aboard Tesat-Spacecom’s GEO satellite Alphasat, utilising laser-based, air-to-space communications technologies with size, weight, and power (SWaP) characteristics of a system that can be operated aboard a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS), a 20 February company statement said.

“The test successfully demonstrated acquisition and tracking, and sufficient power to close the link with the LCT 135,” under the SWaP requirements, company officials said.

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