General Atomics Electromagnetics - Space Technologies

Space Technologies

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) has extensive experience designing and building complex payloads and integrated support systems to execute a variety of missions in space.

Missions and Payload Expertise

  • Earth observation
  • Communications
  • Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT)
  • Remote sensing
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
  • Electro Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Systems
  • Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
  • Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Radio Frequency (RF) missions
  • Laser Communication
  • Technology demonstration
  • Adaptive Optics

Laser Communication

GA-EMS' Laser Communication Terminals (LCTs) are enabling faster, higher fidelity communication transmissions. LCTs support vast networking of satellites, the sharing of data and information, and collective on-orbit computing resources in space. GA-EMS' LCTs are facilitating the evolution of modular, space-based communications services, providing a more resilient architecture to ensure 24/7 total connectivity from earth, to space, and beyond.

Adaptive Optics (AO)

GA-EMS is enhancing its laser and sensor capabilities with advanced Adaptive Optics technology for use in space-to-ground laser communication, weapons systems, and Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). When a laser beam is propagated at long ranges through the atmosphere, it becomes distorted by atmospheric turbulence. For free-space laser communication systems, this limits the bandwidth and operational range of the link. GA-EMS' AO system precisely measures the atmospheric distortion and dynamically corrects the turbulence effects that degrade performance. The AO system has been proven to increase the range, bandwidth, and reliability of free space optical communication systems.

Adaptive Optics Capabilities

  • Laser communications across multiple domains: Space, Air, Ground, Surface, and Undersea.
  • Imaging through turbulence for Space Domain Awareness (SDA) and ISR.
  • Optical weather for site selection (historical) and link availability analysis (forecast).
Detector Size
1 Gbps 10 Gpbs 100 Gpbs
This video illustrates the effect of the Adaptive Optics System on a laser beam. The corrected beam is less distorted thereby allowing for increased data rates, range, and reliability.