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Tesat-Spacecom to establish U.S. manufacturing facility


February 7, 2022: With more than 500,000 hours of operation and 10 Optical Communication Terminals (OCTs) in space, TESAT is the only provider worldwide for in-orbit-verified OCTs. As the market leader for space communication equipment, TESAT is setting-up manufacturing operations in the U.S. to meet the growing demand for OCTs from the U.S. Government and the commercial space industry. TESAT is currently providing OCTs for four different U.S. spacecraft primes in support of the Space Development Agency's (SDA) Transport Layer and Tracking Layer and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Blackjack program. 1)


Figure 1: Tesat-Spacecom (TESAT), the global leader in optical communication technologies for space, is expanding its manufacturing footprint into the United States to support its U.S. government and commercial customers (image credit: Tesat)

"We are in final negotiations for a facility in the U.S. up to 25,000 square feet (2320 m2) and intend to start manufacturing our Optical Communications Terminals there in early 2023. Together with our established global supply chain we are well prepared for a production rate of 160 affordable constellation OCTs per month and are already designing the next generation of 100 Gbit/s terminals", says Matthias Motzigemba, Director of Laser Communication at TESAT.

As the pioneer of optical communication technology in space, TESAT is working as an active member of the SDA interoperability working group. Its ConLCT80 (Constellation Laser Communication Terminal 80) modem is compliant to the current SDA OCT standard V3.0 and can be delivered off the shelf.

The test was made in 2021 at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory connecting with the Space Development Agency (SDA) reference modem over fiber optic, which assures the interoperability of all optical payloads of the different manufacturers. The test was carried out at the optical level, explicitly testing coding and framing according to the SDA standard, data rate, wavelength compatibility, tracking tone, waveform capture and continuous data transfer. Future testing is planned to demonstrate space optical communication between terminals, as they will operate in space aboard SDA's Tranche 0 Transport Layer constellation. 2)

Figure 2: Overview of Tesat production line process (video credit: Tesat-Spacecom)

About Tesat

At TESAT in Backnang, Germany, more than 1,000 employees develop, manufacture and distribute systems and equipment for telecommunications via satellite. The product range spans from smallest space-specific components to modules, entire assemblies or payloads. As the world's only provider and technology leader of in-orbit-verified optical terminals for data transmission via laser (LCTs), TESAT has a focus on commercial and institutional space programs. 3)


1) "Tesat-Spacecom to establish U.S. manufacturing facility," SpaceNews, 7 February 2022, URL:


2) "Tesat's ConLCT modem successfully demonstrates SDA laser communication standard," Tesat Press Release, 31 August 2021, URL:

3) "Tesat-Spacecom to establish U.S. manufacturing facility," TESAT Press Release, 7 February 2022, URL:


The information compiled and edited in this article was provided by Herbert J. Kramer from his documentation of: "Observation of the Earth and Its Environment: Survey of Missions and Sensors" (Springer Verlag) as well as many other sources after the publication of the 4th edition in 2002. - Comments and corrections to this article are always welcome for further updates (

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