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October 7th, 2018

RBC Signals and Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency Collaborate For LEO Optical Communication System and More

(l) Cdr. Ronnie Nader, EXA Astronaut and Space Operation Division Director and (r) Christopher Richins, CEO of RBC Signals

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by RBC Signals, a multi-national company providing space communication services, and the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency (EXA) announce their collaboration on an Optical Communication System for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Lunar/Deep Space programs, including the Colombo-Ecuadorian Lunar Program (CELP).

The collaboration was announced in a joint press conference at the International Astronautics Conference (IAC), held in Bremen, Germany, where Christopher Richins of RBC Signals and Cdr. Ronnie Nader of EXA conducted the press conference. 

The Colombo-Ecuadorian Lunar Program will be a key program focus for the combined effort. A joint venture between the Colombian Space Agency and the Ecuadorian Space Agency, both civilian non-governmental agencies, the CELP is an exploration and technology demonstration program whose objectives are to develop and test indigenous technologies as a means to contributing to the human space exploration effort of all humankind.

Christopher Richins, CEO of RBC Signals stated that RBC Signals is excited to be working with EXA for the development of laser optical communication systems.  Not only are EXA’s space missions and technology groundbreaking, but optical communication capabilities are a strategic component of their own service offering, as more customers look for alternatives to traditional RF communication technologies, especially for deep space missions.

Cdr. Ronnie Nader, EXA Astronaut and Space Operation Division Director (on left) stated that this partnership between EXA and RBC Signals for the further development of their laser and related technologies within the Colombo-Ecuadorian Lunar Program illustrates the friendship and cooperation that has always existed between EXA's people.  RBC Signals‘ capabilities and reach are an  ideal match for the development of communications technologies for missions which, due to extreme distance, require global coverage. 

As part of the MOU, EXA and RBC Signals will also collaborate with Irvine CubeSat STEM Program, a non-profit organization providing key education opportunities for students. EXA holds a 12-year contract for space and laser technology provision for the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program.