Home > Portfolio SpaceDataHighway



The services offered by the SpaceDataHighway enable users to transfer their data (imagery, video, voice…) from their Earth Observation satellites, UAVs, multi-mission aircraft by means of optical communication via the EDRS-A and EDRS-C geostationary satellites to receiving ground stations located in Europe.

Up to 1.8Gb/sdata rate laser communication
Near 40 terabytesof data per day
More than 300 opticalsuccessful inter-satellite links
Up to 75,000 kmlaser communication distance

The SpaceDataHighway is a public–private partnership between ESA (European Space Agency) and Airbus Defence and Space. The laser terminal was built by TESAT-Spacecom, an Airbus Defence and Space subsidiary, and funded by the DLR German Aerospace Center. The European Commission is the first Customer of the SpaceDataHighway. The Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites of Copernicus, the European Commission's Earth observation programme, are equipped with laser communication terminals that will significantly accelerate the delivery of large volumes of time-critical data to Earth monitoring centres within Europe.


Airbus Defence and Space to start SpaceDataHighway service
Follow the topic on Twitter


The SpaceDataHighway will provide data transmission in broadband quality in near-real time through high-precision laser. This makes it ideal:

  • to transfer time-critical and sensitive information
  • to gain faster and longer access to your air and space assets
  • to securely transfer information in hostile electronic warfare environment
  • to ensure stealth communication
  • to transfer large volumes of data generated by powerful sensors or to enable Combat Cloud concept

As the owner and operator of the SpaceDataHighway, Airbus Defence and Space is targeting a global deployment, offering opportunities for international partnerships. Pacific Rim Area is where we see an increasing needs for data relay and airborne missions. We are aiming to expand the capacity and coverage of the system by 2020, with a third satellite positioned over the Asia-Pacific region.