Carillon wins DARPA satellite-to-satellite comms contract

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Carillon Technologies a contract to prototype next generation satellite-to-satellite communication systems derived from cutting edge commercial Holographic Optical Beam Steering (HOBS) technology, the West Hartford, CT-based company announced September 23.

“Lightweight and affordable satellite-to-satellite optical communication is a breakthrough technology, not only for commercial and defense communication constellations currently being deployed, but also for new high-performance, highly-survivable space architectures,” said Dr. John Evans, CEO of Carillon Technologies. “This new solid-state HOBS technology will provide a step change in size, weight, and cost for satellite Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) systems.”

HOBS technology is being developed for automotive LIDAR applications by the commercial start-up Lumotive (Seattle, WA). Dr. Geb Akselrod, CTO of Lumotive noted, “We’re excited to collaborate with Carillon and DARPA. Carillon’s unique expertise forming business relationships that bridge the defense and commercial sectors has made this a win-win for everyone involved.” Akselrod continued, “Lumotive isn’t in the space business, but this effort is important to us because it will advance our technology and expand our supply chain, improving our product and allowing us to scale rapidly and with confidence as our commercial markets come on online.”

Currently R&D investments by venture, commercial and global companies dwarf those of the U.S. Government, with just 4% of global R&D performed within the defense ecosystem, Carillion said. “Carillon’s mission is to help ensure the security of America and the American people,” said Evans. “As a country, we cannot realistically hope to secure our Nation’s defense without robust access to commercial technology. Unfortunately, necessary government requirements make this collaboration nearly impossible. This DARPA effort exemplifies how Carillon’s team can bridge the defense and commercial worlds, and ensure America’s soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and guardians have the technology they need to ensure our security now, and into the future.”

Source: Carillion

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