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SmartSat Unveils Prototype Terminal for Military Communications

SmartSat
Credit; CHORUS at the demonstration. Credit: SmartSat

Ibadan, 10 May 2023. – SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has unveiled the Compact Hybrid Optical-RF User Segment (CHORUS) prototype terminal to create more stable and secured military satellite communications at the 15th Australian Space Forum. With funding from SmartSat CRC, the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), and industry and academic partners, EOS Space Systems and EM Solutions, Lyrebird Antenna Research, Shoal Group, Australian National University and University of South Australia, following three years of research developed the technology in the prototype in Australia.

Satellite optical communications links offer significantly higher data rates and a lower interception probability than standard civilian and military radio frequency (RF) satellite communications, which are vulnerable to electronic warfare, such as jamming, geo-location, and interception. As a result, CHORUS aims to address the several limitations of satellite-based optical communications technology and open viable commercialization pathways for new SATCOM capabilities.

A recent VIP demonstration day at the Department of Defence Edinburgh base showcased the successful completion of testing. It also marked the practical conclusion of the two phases of the SmartSat CRC co-funded project. The unveiling of the CHORUS Terminal at the Australian Space Forum is the first opportunity for the space community to see the prototype and discuss its capabilities and potential commercial pathways with members of the R&D project team.

Professor Andy Koronios, CEO SmartSat CRC, commented, “CHORUS is a ground-breaking technology that will transform Australia’s military communications. By combining RF communications with more secure optical communication technology, CHORUS has enabled the development of an entirely new class of satellite communications terminals.”

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