The satellite, Sentinel-1A, which will orbit Earth’s Polar Regions, will transfer the data it collects via a laser communications terminal (LCT) of Tesat-Spacecom. Sentinel-1A was launched by the European Space Agency on 3 April 2014 from Europe’s Spaceport Kourou in French Guiana.
Sentinel 1-A is the first satellite of the ESA Sentinel fleet, which has been developed specially to provide large amounts of date and pictures for the Earth observation program Copernicus. It will orbit Earth at an altitude of a few hundred kilometers (in a low Earth orbit) and will provide all-weather, day and night radar imagery for land and ocean services.
The laser communications terminal on board Sentinel-1A is another component of the European Data Relay System (EDRS) and enables high-speed data transfers between the low Earth orbit and the geostationary Earth orbit.
The first high-volume data connection between the laser communications terminal on Sentinel-1A and a satellite in geostationary Earth orbit is expected to be made later this year.
Thales SESO has supplied the four mirrors that are used for the terminal which is a Three Mirrors Anastigmat (TMA) telescope configuration where the roughness and surface quality are of outmost importance for stray light minimization.


ESA/ATG medialab

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