BridgeComm is establishing a global network of ground stations. Credit: BridgeComm

SAN FRANCISCO – Optical communications startup BridgeComm announced a strategic partnership with satellite component supplier Space Micro to work together on the design, development and testing of optical communications technology for U.S. government and commercial customers.

BridgeComm is working to establish a global network of ground stations and a laser communications constellation in low Earth orbit. BridgeComm plans to draw on Space Micro’s expertise in designing, producing and testing space components.

“Over nearly two decades, Space Micro has built a remarkable team delivering mission-critical products for satellite operators, lunar missions and deep space exploration,” BridgeComm CEO Barry Matsumori said in a statement. “Together we will share our unique experiences, resources and engineering intelligence to drive continued growth and innovation” in optical communications.

Denver-based BridgeComm offers laser communications technology designed for point-to-point and point-to-multipoint transmissions for communications nodes in space, on land, in the air and at sea.

San Diego-based Space Micro sells a variety of satellite communications components, including µLCT 100, a laser communications terminal designed to transmit data at a rate of 100 gigabits per second. The U.S. Space Force Space Systems Center awarded Space Micro a $3 million contract in 2020 for a µLCT 100 terminal.

“We are looking forward to partnering with BridgeComm, particularly as laser communications terminals are key to many new government initiatives,” Space Micro CEO David Czajkowski said in a statement. “BridgeComm’s commitment to realizing the tremendous potential of optical communications for space applications, paired with our dedication to delivering highly reliable products will move the needle not just for BridgeComm and Space Micro, but for the entire space industry. And that is incredibly exciting.”

Under the terms of the deal announced Sept. 7, Space Micro will sell BridgeComm ground station equipment products and services for satellite communications customers. In addition, Space Micro will be BridgeComm’s partner in selling Bridgecomm small satellite terminals.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...