Defence, space and communications manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has managed to squeeze down the cost of its SpaceLink global system of an initial four, linked optical relay communications satellites.
The low Earth orbit satellites, which will provide operational connectivity to commercial and government space missions using both RF and optical links, will be built to a new, smaller communications satellite design that has reduced costs to less than a third of that originally estimated.
In an update to investors today EOS said co-design work with its satellite partner OHB Systems AG of Germany had cut the initial deployment cost including satellites, launch, ground-based infrastructure and opex from $1.05 billion to $335 million.
The new design, dubbed Block-0, integrates higher bandwidth communication terminals and has brought forward the date for initial operation from mid-2024 to early 2024.
The improved timeframe allows EOS to comfortably meet a deadline set under its FCC licence to utilise 21 GHz of radio frequency spectrum.
With satellite capacity improved 50 per cent and lifetime extended by 25 per cent, the work ‘allows accelerated profitability at significantly reduced cost’, according to EOS.
“Near-term customer revenue is estimated by SpaceLink at $335 million over the initial 30 months of service delivery.
“Replacement satellites can be inserted into the constellation at a substantially lower cost per unit of capacity to meet expanding service delivery obligations.
“These satellites will have enhanced profitability from using then-existing ground-based infrastructure.”
EOS has now extended its commercial relationship with OHB to further improve the capability of SpaceLink satellites.
Picture: Electro Optic Systems
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