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DISA and LLC will collaborate on research into hybrid SATCOM.
DISA and LLC will collaborate on research into hybrid SATCOM. (NASA)

The Defense Information Systems Agency has entered a cooperative research and development agreement for laser-based satellite communications.

The cooperative research and development agreement with Laser Light Communications focuses on the company’s global hybrid satellite-terrestrial all-optical network technology. The goal is to research into the potential use of an all-optical, laser-based, medium Earth orbit communication satellite solution that is able to be seamlessly integrated into the existing global terrestrial communications network, according to an LLC release.

Related: NASA uses laser to send video from space station

The laser-based technology could allow DISA to work around growing spectrum shortages, using light pulses to convey data and communications.

According to LLC, the all-optical SATCOM system potentially offers numerous advantages over conventional SATCOM systems, including by providing significant increases in data transfer rates, improving security, eliminating spectrum allocation and mitigating mutual interference caused by satellite spacing issues.

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