COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Honeywell (NYSE:HON) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, are tapping their aerospace and electro-optics expertise to transform space communications with optical technologies. The companies are partnering to design and produce advanced optical communication data links that will enable satellite operators to offer high-speed, high-capacity connectivity to commercial and government users worldwide.
“Ball and Honeywell are leveraging their respective strengths to collaboratively develop advanced optical terminals for intersatellite links,” explains Brad Tousley, vice president, strategic technology development and commercial aerospace, Ball Aerospace. “Our team’s strong, proven capabilities in developing and manufacturing precision space-based optical systems will ensure the success of future low-earth-orbit constellations.”
Free-space optical communication systems complement traditional radio-frequency (RF) solutions, bringing the Internet speeds of terrestrial fiber optics to space. Using laser technology, optical communication systems offer a much narrower and more focused beam than traditional RF links, officials say, resulting in higher data rates, more capacity, greater security, and smaller, lighter, and more affordable terminals.
“Working with Ball Aerospace, combining our optical and space manufacturing technologies with Ball’s extensive expertise in optical systems and solutions, creates a powerful world-class team to enable the transition of space communications into the optical communications era,” says Marina Mississian, senior director of space payloads at Honeywell Aerospace.
Ball Aerospace and Honeywell have combined their knowledge and expertise on various optical communications capabilities since the 1990s. This new collaboration provides a unique North American solution for commercial and U.S. government markets. The optical communication terminals are manufactured entirely from North American-sourced parts.
Honeywell officials announced the partnership and vision at the 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.
Honeywell Aerospace products and services are found on virtually every commercial, defense and space aircraft, and its turbochargers are used by nearly every automaker and truck manufacturer around the world. The Aerospace business unit develops innovative solutions for more fuel-efficient automobiles and airplanes, more direct and on-time flights, safer flying and runway traffic, along with aircraft engines, cockpit and cabin electronics, wireless connectivity services, logistics, and more. The business delivers safer, faster, and more efficient and comfortable transportation-related experiences worldwide.
Honeywell is a Fortune 100 software-industrial company that delivers industry specific solutions that include aerospace and automotive products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; and performance materials globally.