The Space paradigm is rapidly evolving pushed by the increasing demand of capacity driven by Internet and mobile communications. The space industry is trying to cope with such a revolution by introducing innovations in terms of technology, payload and constellation configuration. High throughput satellites (HTS) at GEO with Tbps capacity, the proliferation of LEO/MEO constellations or new networked architectures using inter-satellite and inter-orbit links are examples of such new approach. Flexibility, high-capacity, reconfigurability, low SWAP and reliability are mandatory features in every space application.

DAS is developing key enabling photonics technologies to upgrade satellite payload performances thanks to the inherent benefits brought by photonics – broadband, low transmission loss, low weight and power consumption, excellent phase stability, EMI free – but also by the flexibility brought by WDM technology to develop dynamic broadband tuneable payloads. Using photonics technology, it is possible to conceive 1 Tbps payloads able to handle hundreds of beams with reconfigurable and adaptive coverage operating at RF frequencies from Ku up to Q/V band.

DAS photonic modules and subsystems are/will be flying in ALPHASAT, PROBA-V, HISPASAT AMZ5, HISPASAT 30W-6 and EUTELSAT-7C.


DAS develops solutions for both, ground segment and payloads for SATCOM and Earth Observation. The aim is to bring the benefits that photonic technology provides to the space market, such us significant SWAP reduction, flexibility, broadband, EMI-free, easy cabling and routing, among others.

The current photonic payload modules developed by DAS comprise photonics links for digital and analogue signals distribution, multi-frequency conversion chains, receivers and LNAs. DAS ambition is to provide a fully photonic payload.

Photonic multi-frequency converters (PMFC)

Provide the capability to downconvert RF signals from Ku to V-band using the same hardware, significantly simplifying payload architecture. The PMFC includes the frequency generation unit (FGU), the distribution of multiple LO signals combined with wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), optical amplifier modules and receivers.

  • Broadband frequency operation in Ku/Ka/V/Q bands.
  • Multiple LO operation.
  • Qualified and with flight heritage.

Digital and analogue active optical cables (AOC)

DAS AOCs are able to deliver high-speed digital (up to 10 Gb/s) and RF (up to 50 GHz) signals through low-loss phase-stable EMI-free rad-hard optical fibre, simplifying cabling and harness and significantly reducing SWAP.

Erbium-doped Fiber Amplifiers (EDFA)

Several proven designs: co-propagating, counter-propagating, combined …
Turn-key designs: as stand alone module or integrated with FGU, LO distribution, Mixer.Rad-hard Er-doped fibers.Qualified and with flight heritage.
Typical performances:

  • Small signal gain: 30 dB.
  • NF < 4.5 dB.
  • Saturated output power: 20 dBm.
  • Power consumption < 0.75 W.
  • Polarization maintaining (optional SM).

Broadband photodetectors and photoreceivers

Based on PIN diodes, balanced photodetectors or APD. Digital or analogue operation (up to 42 GHz). Qualified and with flight heritage.
Typical performances:

  • Responsivity: 0.6 A/W.
  • Max. input optical power < +18 dBm.
  • Power consumption < 100 mW.

Photonic RF filtering

Using non-linear effects, broadband photonic RF filters reconfigurable in frequency and bandwidth can be implemented without the need of DSP.