When it started, the space race was a competition between two superpowers, but now there are 90 countries with missions in space.
The prices of space travel have gone down, making it possible for more than just governments to send rockets and satellites into space. Several private companies are now investing in space programs, looking for everything from scientific advances to business opportunities. Some reports estimate more than 10,000 companies in the space industry and around 5,000 investors.
According to The Space Foundation’s 2022 report, the space economy was worth $469 billion in 2021. The report says more spacecraft were launched in the first six months of 2021 than in the first 52 years of space exploration (1957-2009). This growing industry has thus a growing need for technology products across many disciplines, including telecommunications. The space sector will need lighter, more affordable telecommunication systems that also provide increased bandwidth.
This is why EFFECT Photonics sees future opportunities for coherent technology in the space industry. By translating the coherent transmission from fiber communication systems on the ground to free-space optical systems, the space sector can benefit from solutions with more bandwidth capacity and less power consumption than traditional point-to-point microwave links.