Northrop Grumman Corporation on June 14, 2022 announced the successful ground demonstration of a secure networked laser communications system for proliferated-LEO (Low Earth Orbit) constellations supporting the U.S. military.
Performed for the Space Development Agency (SDA) leadership, the demonstration validated compatibility between commercially developed laser communication and secure U.S. government encryption hardware, providing a baseline for Northrop Grumman’s future proliferated space crosslink communications offerings including SDA’s Transport and Tracking programs.
«We invested in this demonstration because we wanted to reduce key risks early in development», said Blake Bullock, vice president, communication systems, strategic space systems, Northrop Grumman. «Our team focused on speed and optimizing the best of emerging commercial suppliers like Mynaric and Innoflight – while bringing the mission expertise unique to Northrop Grumman to test and field this prototype constellation».
Northrop Grumman selected Mynaric as a strategic supplier for laser communications in space, and Innoflight for encryption, decryption and other key aspects of Northrop Grumman’s architecture.
As the U.S. Department of Defense works to connect the joint force, Northrop Grumman’s space networking capabilities seek to play a vital role in providing secure global connectivity. Another step toward enabling this vision to connect the joint force is the recent announcement of a collaboration with AT&T to research and develop a 5G-enabled digital battle network.
Innoflight is a non-traditional defense contractor founded in 2004. Innoflight offers state-of-the-art space avionics, including Communications & Networking Solutions, Cyber Security Solutions, Processing, Data Storage & Payload Interface Electronics Solutions, and Bus & Payload Integrated Avionics Solutions. Our core competency is secure Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) systems designed through innovative implementation of modern commercial, off-the-shelf technology. The result is modular, high performance, yet low Size Weight and Power systems at competitive prices. Our products are qualified through an Innoflight rigorous process that includes parts reliability analysis and testing, system-level fault tolerance, and radiation risk mitigation. Our customers include the U.S. government, prime aerospace contractors and commercial space developers.
Mynaric is leading the industrial revolution of laser communications by producing optical communications terminals for air, space and mobile applications. Laser communication networks provide connectivity from the sky, allowing for ultra-high data rates and secure, long-distance data transmission between moving objects for wireless terrestrial, mobility, airborne- and space-based applications. The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany, with additional locations in Los Angeles, California, and Washington, D.C.
Northrop Grumman is a technology company, focused on global security and human discovery. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with capabilities they need to connect, advance and protect the U.S. and its allies. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 90,000 employees define possible every day.