Photonics applied to the New Space Sector

February 23, 2024 - Jeremy Picot-Clemente
This lithium niobate (LiNbO3)-based modulator from Exail is the company’s core expertise in fiber-optic gyroscopes.

The reliability of Exail’s lithium niobate (LiNbO3)-based modulators comes from the company’s core expertise in fiber-optic gyroscopes, some of which have clocked more than 6 million hours in orbit on more than 30 satellites without incident. Courtesy of Exail.

Photonics is revolutionizing satellite communication, Earth observation, miniaturization, and precision navigation in the space industry, especially for nano-satellite constellations. Photonics technology enables the miniaturization of space instruments, more precise navigation systems, high-speed free-space data transfer, and advanced imaging and sensing technologies for Earth observation.
In this article published in Photonics Spectra, Jérémy Picot-Clémente reviews some of the companies working on New Space applications like Exail, STARLINK, CSEM, Surrey Space Centre, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, European Space Agency – ESA, MBRYONICS, ASE Optics Europe, First Light Imaging, EFFECT Photonics, Iridian Spectral Technologies or IMEC.

You can also check the summary of the EPIC Meeting on Photonics for Space celebrated at Exail or check the full agenda