A new generation of Greek satellites with revolutionary laser technology is in development according to Hellas Sat telecommunications CEO Christodoulos Protopapas.
Speaking with radio station Praktoreio 104.9 FM, Protopapas said the design of the new generation of Hellas Sat telecommunications satellites has begun and the new versions will incorporate "revolutionary technologies, satisfying the much higher demands for data transmission speeds and security in communications."
The design will include the use of laser optics, "something groundbreaking for the sector", and that the decision has already been made to launch either one large or two medium-sized new satellites into the orbital position occupied by Greece and Cyprus (39th eastern meridian in the geostationary satellite orbit).
According to Protopapas, Hellas Sat 5 and 6 will be "satellites with an innovative payload using optical telecommunications", adding that a first cooperation protocol with the German firm OHB System AG has been signed, laying the foundations for a very innovative system for space technology, that will use laser beams from geostationary orbit to provide high speed telecommunication links.
There will also be an effort to use the Helmos Observatory in Greece to implement the new satellite technology solutions, in collaboration with the Greek government and the Hellas Sat installations in Cyprus, where special permits have already been received for the installation of new optical telecommunications hubs for satellite communication using this technology.
The benefits will include a massive increase in speed, from 100Gbs at present to several thousand Gbs, as well as greater security. "With two laser beams one could easily link two countries at high speed, something that will not be done with our familiar satellite 'dishes' but with optical means - telescopes. We are entering a new generation of telecommunications while - very importantly for national security - laser communication from a satellite at 36,000 kilometres cannot at that point be targeted by an enemy action nor disrupted by interference," he said.
Protopapas also revealed that Hellas Sat, in collaboration with the Greek and Cyprus governments, was jointly submitting a proposal to the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) programme, while one possible use of the new satellites will be to provide a rapid communication link to Gateway, the new space station in orbit around the Moon.