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Optical Communications Innovation and Laser Satellites are the Future of Space Communications

Our recent coverage of commercial space has included DoD efforts to leverage the commercial space internet as “future military operations will be multi-domain and will be conducted with unprecedented speed.”  Experimental DoD efforts are focused on building a “robust systems architecture ecosystem with the growth of exponential technologies like AI in mind”, which will be crucial to leveraging space-based commercial internet capabilities.

The Defense Intelligence Agency also recently updated the Challenges to Security in Space 2022.  This second edition expands on the insights of the first publication in 2019 and provides an “unclassified overview of the threats to U.S. space capabilities, particularly from China and Russia, as those threats continue to expand.” (1)

In light of the cyber attacks on the Ukrainian satellite system (which figured prominently in the early stages of the Ukraine conflict) we also highlighted Space Security and Offensive and Defensive Counterspace Capabilities.   At the time of the attacks, we provided general coverage With Viasat Satellite Hack Officially Attributed to Russia by US and EU Allies, What Next for Satellite Security? – as well as OODA CTO Bob Gourley’s and OODA Loop contributor Emilio Iasiello’s insights:

In a legacy analysis from the OODA Loop archive, OODA Contributor Cindy Martinez foreshadowed some of the core issues in her Mitigating Threats to Commercial Space Satellites.

Clearly, space continues to be an active, contested space, with a hybrid of governmental and commercial activities already in play.  We now turn to NASA, Chinese and commercial development efforts  – and the future role of laser satellite links in the space communications infrastructure.

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Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira is research director at OODA. He is a foresight strategist, creative technologist, and an information communication technology (ICT) and digital media researcher with 20+ years of experience directing public/private partnerships and strategic innovation initiatives.