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York Space Systems (YSS) and BridgeSat Collaborate to Bring Optical Communications Capabilities

Apr 13, 2016

Apr 13 2016 | Denver, CO and Boston, MA

YSS is working with BridgeSat to offer a total optical communications solution by providing a small optical communications space terminal that is lighter, more secure and at a lower cost than the equivalent radio frequency (RF) solution.

York Space Systems (YSS), an aerospace company that specializes in developing small- and medium-class spacecraft, and BridgeSat Inc., a developer of free-space optical communications systems, today announced a collaboration to bring high data rate downlink capabilities to the YSS satellite platform.

York Space Systems is developing a platform called the AESV S-Class that leverages a patent-pending design to reduce the cost of manufacturing satellites by an order of magnitude. Designed for mass manufacture, and intended for use in constellations, YSS’ S-Class platform aims to support a wide range of missions, including Earth observation, weather and communications.

YSS is working with BridgeSat to offer a total optical communications solution by providing a small optical communications space terminal that is lighter, more secure and at a lower cost than the equivalent radio frequency (RF) solution. This optical communications system is planned to be demonstrated with the inaugural launch of YSS’ Harbinger Mission in late 2017, and will include the capability for high-rate data delivery to the BridgeSat global ground network.

With this demonstration mission, YSS will offer satellite operators an optical communications option optimized for their satellite platform, adding another level of capability to their efficient and low-cost access to space.

“We see the tremendous added value for our customers by having this kind of rapid downlink capability: removing mission ops constraints, simplifying planning, and reducing power. We are very excited to be working with the BridgeSat team to make this capability not only available for the Harbinger Mission, but for numerous missions to come,” said Dirk Wallinger, Chief Executive Officer of York Space Systems.

“Demand is accelerating for small- and medium-sized satellites, which offer greater flexibility at a significantly lower cost, and York Space Systems is at the leading edge of this growing trend. We are pleased that through our collaboration, we have the opportunity to potentially expand use of free-space optical communications,” said John Serafini, co-General Manager of BridgeSat and Senior Vice President of Allied Minds, BridgetSat’s parent company.

More information about YSS can be found at For more information on BridgeSat, visit BridgeSat is a subsidiary of Allied Minds (LSE: ALM).


York Space Systems is an innovative American aerospace company specializing in small and medium class spacecraft based in Denver, CO. The company is currently developing their AESV S-Class platform, which leverages a proprietary design to reduce the cost of manufacture by an order of magnitude. The S-Class platform is a 3-axis stabilized spacecraft capable of supporting 90kg payloads with up to 100W of Orbit Average Power (OAP) with one week delivery times.

Designed for mass manufacture and intended for constellations, the S-Class supports a wide range of missions including earth observation and communication. It is capable of steady state operation in any orbit inclination and orientation without redesign. The platform form factor can leverage existing share ride opportunities on ESPA, or can be adapted to any of the numerous dedicated small launch vehicles. It is currently under development to significantly reduce launch segment costs. For more information, visit


BridgeSat has designed an optical connectivity system that aims to improve the wireless transfer of data from satellites. The system provides an alternative transmission mechanism that is designed to be faster, more secure and available at a lower cost to traditional radio frequency systems, while meeting the constrained size, weight and power requirements inherent with small satellite operations. More information can be found at


Allied Minds is an innovative U.S. science and technology development and commercialization company. Operating since 2006, Allied Minds forms, funds, manages and builds products and businesses based on innovative technologies developed at leading U.S. universities and federal research institutions. Allied Minds serves as a diversified holding company that supports its businesses and product development with capital, central management and shared services.


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