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Satnews Daily
April 8th, 2018

Lasercom Tech for Satellites and Constellations Under Development by Mynaric and Leti

Mynaric has formed an exclusive partnership with Leti, a French research institute at CEA Tech, on a key technological development in high-speed communication.

The collaboration centers on the next generation of Avalanche Photodiodes (APD) for telecommunication systems that will now allow for an improved performance level far exceeding the already record-breaking values achieved by Mynaric’s laser communication products.
The development is a significant landmark and fundamentally increases the appeal of Mynaric’s laser communication products for large technical companies set on satellite and high-altitude constellations comprised of hundreds — and, in some cases, thousands — of units. The exclusive agreement positions Mynaric as prime supplier for these constellation networks of interconnected aircraft, drones and satellites.

Companies building constellations — in space, in the stratosphere, as well as in commercial airspace — will see numerous benefits reflected in this key upgrade to Mynaric’s laser communication systems with the technology yielding considerable improvements in distance and offering the potential to significantly decrease system complexity. Importantly for the aerospace industry, this reduced system complexity is expected to lead to lower production costs, size, weight and power consumption of Mynaric’s laser communication units, expanding the economic viability and market reach of laser communications.
Joachim Horwath, Mynaric founder, board member and technical lead, stated that this key technology allows the company to reach spheres of miniaturization and link distance that have been up to now unthinkable and which, until now, have been inaccessible. This is the kind of technological boundary-pushing that fundamentally reshuffles what is possible and the signed agreement positions us as the exclusive supplier for this revolutionary technology for high-speed communications.
The collaboration effectively serves both organizations' purposes with the technological benefits allowing Mynaric to make their products cost effective and simpler, thus aiding the upscaling needed for serialization and Leti, yet again, successfully transferring a unique technological development into commercial viability.

The exceptionally high-performance photo diode that has been developed by Leti offers sensitivity improvements at least 10 times greater than existing sensitivity. This allows for more than double the current link distance or significant simplification of systems.
Dr. Ludovic Poupinet, head of Leti’s optics and photonics division, said that Leti is already known as a leading R&D force in telecom and datacom integrated photonics, especially for high-speed optical devices and circuits. Mynaric is a fast-growing, dynamic company in wireless laser-communications systems and is now addressing world-class customers and suppliers. This collaboration is, therefore, a win-win opportunity that will extend Leti’s renown in the promising field of free-space optical telecom.

Dr. Johan Rothman, detector-physics scientist at Leti, added that the collaboration with Mynaric is a great opportunity to boost the development of HgCdTe APDs to reach the required speed for high data rate telecommunications. Demonstrating this performance will open an important commercial perspective and a path to a fast industrialization of the detectors. It also will accelerate time to market of detectors optimized for scientific applications, such as atmospheric LIDAR and spectroscopy.”
Dr. Wolfram Peschko, the CEO of Mynaric, stated that the cooperation between Mynaric and Leti highlights the importance that the firm's joint creativity plays in pushing to give already highly successful technical products heightened performance and make them more affordable and indispensable in the march towards equipping constellations to enable global internet connectivity. Through the diversification of our technological partnerships — adding the years of experience and research from Leti gained from the company's long-standing partnership with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) — is what helps the company to further improve products and prioritize the commercialization and serialization of the laser communication products that the market needs.