SpaceX Falcon 9 launches General Atomics LINCS system in space


GA-EMS LINCS System: US defence and high technology company General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Wednesday said that its Laser Interconnect and Networking Communications System (LINCS) satellites were successfully launched on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Transporter-2 mission from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellites were launched in partnership with the Space Development Agency (SDA).

The two 12U cubesats that make up the LINCS system were successfully deployed into orbit and have begun satellite commissioning and operations. This launch marks the first successful launch of SDA payloads since the agency was established in 2019.

“We look forward to continue supporting them (SDA) over the next several months as the GA-EMS LINCS system is used to demonstrate space-based optical communication and validate its efficacy for the future national security space architecture,” Scott Forney, President of GA-EMS said in a statement to Defence Star.

“I am extremely proud of the GA-EMS team, whose tireless work and remarkable efforts over the past few years have led to a successful launch and deployment of this important technology,” Forney added.


Representational Image.

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The LINCS system is comprised of two 12U cubesats each hosting a C-band dual-wavelength full duplex Optical Communication Terminal (OCT) and an Infrared (IR) payload, with all elements internally designed and built by GA-EMS at their facilities in San Diego, CA and Huntsville, AL.

In partnership with SDA, this is among the first Department of Defense contracted efforts to develop and deploy a state-of-the-art 1550nm OCT to test capabilities to increase the speed, reliability, distance, and variability of communication in space.

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“Optical communication will significantly augment space-based communication, and the launch of the GA-EMS LINCS system is the first step in proving this critical technology in space,” said Nick Bucci, Vice President of Missile Defense and Space Systems.

“Our next checkpoint is to establish the proper orbit, communication and control of the two spacecraft. From there, we will work with SDA and commence a series of experiments testing optical communication in a variety of operational scenarios,” Bucci added.

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