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Mitsubishi Electric Successfully Demonstrates Light Source Module for High-capacity Laser Optical Communication in Outer SpaceQuick, low-cost demonstration uses nanosatellite developed through industry-academia collaboration


  • Concept of space-based laser optical network for global communications

  • Newly developed light source module

TOKYO, June 20, 2023 - Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that it has successfully demonstrated laser optical frequency control using a new light source module, a key component of an envisioned high-capacity laser optical communication network to be deployed in outer space. The module, which produces a 1.5-µm wavelength signal, was installed in the OPTIMAL-11 nanosatellite developed through an industry-academia collaboration2 and released from the International Space Station (ISS) on January 6. The use of a nanosatellite enabled the demonstration to be carried out faster and at lower cost than using a conventional large satellite.

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Mitsubishi Electric has been developing space-based optical technologies that are expected to increase data capacity (by ten times or more) as well as communication speeds and distances compared to systems that use radio waves.
Satellite images are increasingly being used for purposes such as assessing conditions in post-disaster areas and the state of remote forestry resources. Existing radio-wave satellite communication systems are limited in terms of capacity, speed and distance, so new optical systems offering improved communications capabilities are required for faster and higher-resolution assessments from space. Advanced systems that use laser signals are expected to be increasingly adopted not only for their superior communications capabilities but also for using wavelengths shorter than radio waves, which allows the use of relatively small and easily installed terrestrial antennas.

  1. 1Rectangular parallelepiped measuring 10 x 10 x 34 cm (WxDxH), released from Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" aboard the ISS
  2. 2Led by ArkEdge Space Inc. and joined by Pale Blue Inc., SEIREN Co., LTD., University of Fukui, School of Engineering at The University of Tokyo, and Mitsubishi Electric


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