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ViaLight Communications - Germany

ViaLight Communications (VLC) develops and produces high-rate laser communication systems for airborne applications. The company is a spin-off from the German Aerospace Center, DLR, and was founded in 2009. VLC's target markets consist of customers who need to transmit large amounts of data (data rates above 1Gbps) in real time from flight platforms – a feat impossible with conventional radio communication systems (typ. <10Mbps).

VLC has long-standing experience in diverse fields as high-rate communication, high-precision beam stabilization, optics, mechanics, atmospheric channel modeling, and the performance of international flight campaigns including certification. Currently, VLC markets two flight terminal lines, the MLT-20 for links up 50km and the larger MLT-100 for up to 600km. The MLT-20 is a miniaturized laser communication terminal for the application on small flight platforms as UAVs or helicopters.The MLT-100 is a miniaturized laser communication terminal for high-performance backbone networks.

The Challenges

The three founders of VLC, all have backgrounds in researching laser communication at DLR. As they started out they faced a number of problems, like finding the counter terminal and building up the link, atmospheric turbulence, and thermal problems preventing stable communication. However technology has evolved considerably over the last two decades and there have now been several successful trials proving that large amounts of data can be transmitted over long distances on a laser link. This inspired them to found VLC and to take this technology to a commercial, operational level. Today, they encounter challenges that are more on the business side -  convincing  customers that a small, but very effective, and innovative team like theirs can develop and build complex systems with a high degree of reliability. But their success speaks for itself and VLC’s team has grown within three years to include ten highly qualified engineers.

The Incubator Advantage 

Dr Knapek, one of the three founders says,"Our time in the ESA Business Incubation Center, close to Munich, has given us the right environment to grow our company during its first two years and to take our first steps in the commercialization of laser communication. This included infrastructure like office space and telecommunications, but even more it meant the opportunity to build up a network of partners, customers, specialists, and supporting consultants. Particular import for VLC was, and still is, the proximity to DLR, as the research institute stays an important partner developing great solutions, which we can use for our future laser communication systems.

And More 

VLC's vision is to bring laser communication to the global market. This will mean a radical change in communication technology for many applications. While they have begun in the area of remote sensing and monitoring applications on flight platforms, they are certain that they will find many more application areas for this powerful technology. And their incubator has been and will be an integral part of the journey.

Where to find us

ViaLight Communications GmbH

82205 Gilching,

Tel: +49 8105 77705-0

The Incubator

Project Management ESA BIC
Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen
Friedrichshafener Straße 1
D-82205 Gilching

Published on 14-10-2012 15:15 by David Tee. 2847 page views

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