NEC and Skyloom to Revolutionize Space Communications with 100 Gbps Optical Terminals

NEC and Skyloom to Revolutionize Space Communications with 100 Gbps Optical Terminals

NEC Corporation and Skyloom Global Corporation have joined forces to revolutionize space communications with the development of cutting-edge optical communication equipment for multi-orbit satellite networks. The collaboration aims to commercialize and make available on the open market one of the world's fastest space optical terminals, achieving remarkable high-speed inter-satellite communications of 100 Gbps and more, propelling the space industry into a new era of connectivity.

"This marks a monumental milestone in global internet and space communications," said Eric Moltzau, Chief Commercial Officer of Skyloom. "In partnership with NEC, we are committed to the joint development, testing, and manufacturing of the groundbreaking 100 Gbps WARP Optical Communications Terminal (OCT), slated for completion by the end of 2025. Our plan is to launch the product into space by 2026 and rapidly scale up production to meet the escalating demand from domestic and international customers in the latter half of the decade."

Traditionally, space communications have relied on wireless technologies using radio waves. However, the collaboration between NEC and Skyloom represents a significant shift towards optical communication in space, drawing parallels with the advancements witnessed in terrestrial fiber networks since the mid-1980s. “This breakthrough will enable high-speed, high-capacity communication in space, revolutionizing data transmission between broadband satellites and Earth Observation satellites on an unprecedented scale," said Motomitsu Shimizu, Managing Director of the NEC Aerospace Business Division.

"This is not a science project," emphasized Shimizu. "We are committed to tangible results, and to prove it, we will launch several test satellites in 2026 equipped with the jointly developed 100 Gbps WARP OCT."

As the deployment of satellite constellations accelerates, creating a network of interconnected satellites in low-earth orbit, the demand for high-speed communication links becomes paramount. In anticipation of this demand growth, NEC and Skyloom are at the forefront of developing technology to achieve optical communication speeds of 100 Gbps and higher.

Moltzau elaborated, "Much like the emergence of economies centered around Transit Oriented Developments, we find ourselves at the forefront, just beginning to grasp the transformative potential of Extremely High-Throughput satellite communication speeds. The collaboration between NEC and Skyloom is poised to usher in a new era of connectivity, empowering artificial intelligence networks in space to seamlessly handle vast amounts of data and communications enroute to their final destinations at remarkable speeds – akin to the impactful role AI innovation plays on Earth today."

“The satellite constellation network, which connects each satellite through optical communication, liberates the potential of space utilization from the geographical and temporal constraints that were inevitable with conventional standalone satellites," remarked Shimizu. “Diversification of services encourages smooth data sharing between satellites, while advancement of services promotes the implementation of data processing capabilities rooted in artificial intelligence in orbit. Both of these are made possible by low-latency and high-speed inter-satellite optical communication. Therefore, the performance of optical communication becomes a determining factor for the quality and quantity of services utilizing space. The realization of 100 Gbps optical communication through this collaboration with Skyloom, a leading player in space utilization in the satellite constellation era and participant in the US Space Development Agency's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, is a significant milestone towards the full-fledged utilization of the satellite constellation era. Beyond that, NEC aims for the fusion of computation and communication from undersea to space."

NEC has a longstanding history of emphasizing the potential of space utilization for solving social issues and has been working on space optical communication since the 1990s," said Yasushi Yokoyama, Chief of Satellite Constellation Business at NEC. “We expect that our collaboration with Skyloom on space optical communication will contribute to expanding space utilization in the era of networked satellite constellations."

“The 100 Gbps WARP OCT leverages the latest technology advances in space-based optical communications and networking," said Santiago Tempone, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer for Skyloom. “We are pleased to partner with NEC to break the barrier to commercializing low-latency, extremely high-throughput space internetworking and communications. Skyloom technology is designed to drive down the cost per bit of free-space optical communications, enabling large-scale production and utilization. We look forward to working closely with NEC's digital coherent optical communication experts and delivering a discriminating optical communications product to the marketplace."

Click here to learn about Skyloom's Optical-Based Relay System.

Publisher: SatNow

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013