SpaceLink Selects OHB to Manufacture Four Satellite Constellation for Secure, Continuous, High-Capacity Relay Service for Time Sensitive Data

by | Oct 13, 2021

In commercial endorsement of SpaceLink's vision, OHB invests $25 million as cornerstone investor in initial financing round 

McLean, Va.  “ SpaceLink, the company building the communications superhighway for the space economy, announced that it selected OHB System AG (OHB) to manufacture its initial constellation of high-capacity relay satellites under a contract valued at over $300 million. Following a competitive procurement process, OHB was chosen for its advanced technical solution, experience with Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites, processed payloads, and optical communications, and track record of reliability and on-time delivery. In a commercial endorsement of SpaceLink's vision to build a, OHB has invested $25 million in SpaceLink as the cornerstone investor in the initial round of financing for the project. Further details of the funding will be announced in coming weeks.

OHB, based in Bremen, Germany, has extensive experience building spacecraft for the European Space Agency and the European Commission, including 34 Galileo navigation satellites, which operate in MEO, and the EDRS-C satellite which will provide laser relay communications from geostationary orbit (GEO). The company has expertise in satellites, manned spaceflight, exploration, and security and reconnaissance technologies, and builds Low Earth Orbit (LEO), MEO, and GEO satellites for communications, terrestrial observation, and scientific applications. 

With launch planned for 2024, the SpaceLink relay system will provide operational connectivity to commercial and government space missions using both RF and optical links to the relay satellites, and laser crosslinks to route traffic to any SpaceLink ground entry point and on to the user's Mission Operations Center. The system will support the growing bandwidth demand and security requirements of commercial, civil, and U.S. and allied national security missions. 

Following an in-depth review of multiple manufacturing proposals, we found that OHB excelled at meeting our requirements, said David Bettinger, Chief Executive Officer of SpaceLink. The manufacturer selection was made with attention to our customers' pressing needs, including flexibility, high data rates, and secure delivery.

The agreement with OHB includes multiple subsystems and components, roughly half of which will be provided by U.S. suppliers. The four MEO spacecraft have digital payload processing, electric propulsion, and state of the art optical intersatellite links. Special emphasis will be placed on U.S. cybersecurity requirements enabling SpaceLink to provide a robust and secure transport layer for critical communications.

With the growing space economy and proliferation of spacecraft in LEO, the demand for fast, continuous, high-capacity connectivity is accelerating. SpaceLink's unique architecture and location in MEO means the satellite constellation always has direct line of sight to satellites, space stations, tugs and servicers in LEO, as well as to its dedicated Gateway Earth Stations. SpaceLink will relieve the bandwidth bottleneck for organizations that need to transport data quickly and securely to users anywhere in LEO or on Earth.

For SpaceLink, we are providing a highly reliable and cost-effective solution based on our modular satellite platform, which has been proven on multiple critical missions, said Marco Fuchs, Chief Executive Officer of OHB SE. We look forward to working together with the SpaceLink team to help launch this important resource for real-time space connectivity.

The SpaceLink relay network is designed to pick up where the U.S. Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) leaves off, and go beyond with unprecedented capacity that leverages today's technology advances. Enhancing the business case for Earth observation companies, commercial space stations, satellite servicers and space tugs, SpaceLink also meets requirements of the U.S. Government and close allies that want to leverage industry solutions.

About OHB System AG

OHB System AG is one of the three leading space system providers in Europe. The company belongs to the listed high tech group OHB SE, where around 3000 specialists and system engineers work on key European space programs. With two strong sites in Bremen and Oberpfaffenhofen near Munich and more than 35 years of experience, OHB System AG specializes in high-tech solutions for space. These include small and medium-sized satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications, science and space exploration as well as systems for human space flight, and aerial reconnaissance.

About SpaceLink

SpaceLink will help advance humanity to a new age of space commerce, exploration, environmental awareness, and security. The Always in Sight™ data relay system provides global coverage to empower space system operators to maximize use of their assets. SpaceLink Corporation is headquartered in the Washington DC area and has offices in Silicon Valley, California. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Electro Optic Systems Holdings Limited, a public company traded on the Australian stock exchange.


May Issue 2024