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Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrates laser communication for prototype constellation

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – June 14, 2022 – Northrop Grumman announced on June 14, 2022, that they had successfully completed a ground demonstration of a secure networked laser communications system for proliferated-LEO constellations supporting the U.S. military.

Performed for SDA leadership, the demonstration validated compatibility between commercially developed laser communication and secure U.S. government encryption hardware, providing a baseline for Northrop Grumman’s future proliferated space crosslink communications offerings including SDA’s Transport and Tracking programs.

“We invested in this demonstration because we wanted to reduce key risks early in development,” said Blake Bullock, vice president, communication systems, strategic space systems, Northrop Grumman. “Our team focused on speed and optimizing the best of emerging commercial suppliers like Mynaric and Innoflight – while bringing the mission expertise unique to Northrop Grumman to test and field this prototype constellation.”

Northrop Grumman selected Mynaric as a strategic supplier for laser communications in space, and Innoflight for encryption, decryption and other key aspects of Northrop Grumman’s architecture.

As the U.S. Department of Defense works to connect the joint force, Northrop Grumman’s space networking capabilities seek to play a vital role in providing secure global connectivity. Another step toward enabling this vision to connect the joint force is the recent announcement of a collaboration with AT&T to research and develop a 5G-enabled digital battle network.

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