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Mynaric announces exclusive partnership with Leti for market-changing laser communications technology

(6 April 2018 - Mynaric) Mynaric has formed an exclusive partnership with Leti, a French research institute at CEA Tech, on a key technological development in high-speed communication.

The collaboration centers on the next generation of Avalanche Photodiodes (APD) for telecommunication systems that will now allow for an improved performance level far exceeding the already record-breaking values achieved by Mynaric’s laser communication products.

The development is a significant landmark and fundamentally increases the appeal of Mynaric’s laser communication products for large technical companies set on satellite and high-altitude constellations comprised of hundreds – and, in some cases, thousands – of units. The exclusive agreement positions Mynaric as prime supplier for these constellation networks of interconnected aircraft, drones and satellites.

Companies building constellations – in space, in the stratosphere, as well as in commercial airspace – will see numerous benefits reflected in this key upgrade to Mynaric’s laser communication systems with the technology yielding considerable improvements in distance and offering the potential to significantly decrease system complexity. Importantly for the aerospace industry, this reduced system complexity is expected to lead to lower production costs, size, weight and power consumption of Mynaric’s laser communication units, expanding the economic viability and market reach of laser communications.

Joachim Horwath, Mynaric founder, board member and technical lead, stated: “This key technology allows us to reach spheres of miniaturization and link distance that have been up to now unthinkable and which until now have been inaccessible. It is the kind of technological boundary-pushing that fundamentally reshuffles what is possible and the signed agreement positions us as the exclusive supplier for this revolutionary technology for high-speed communications.”

The collaboration very effectively serves both organizations’ purposes with the technological benefits allowing Mynaric to make its products both cost effective and simpler thus aiding the upscaling needed for serialization and Leti, yet again, successfully transferring a unique technological development into commercial viability.

Dr. Ludovic Poupinet, head of Leti’s optics and photonics division, said: “Leti is already known as a leading R&D force in telecom and datacom integrated photonics, especially for high-speed optical devices and circuits. Mynaric is a fast-growing, dynamic company in wireless laser-communications systems and is now addressing world-class customers and suppliers. This collaboration is, therefore, a win-win opportunity that will extend Leti’s renown to the promising field of free-space optical telecom and will open the path to the industrial valorization of our unique IR single-element APD technology based on HgCdTe.”

Dr. Johan Rothman, detector-physics scientist at Leti, added: “The collaboration with Mynaric is a great opportunity to boost the development of HgCdTe APDs to reach the required speed for high data rate telecommunications. Demonstrating this performance will open an important commercial perspective and a path to a fast industrialization of the detectors. It also will accelerate time to market of detectors optimized for scientific applications, such as atmospheric LIDAR and spectroscopy.”

The exceptionally high-performance photo diode that has been developed by Leti offers sensitivity improvements at least 10 times greater than existing sensitivity. This allows for more than double the current link distance or significant simplification of systems.

Dr. Wolfram Peschko, the CEO of Mynaric, commented: “The cooperation between Mynaric and Leti highlights the importance that our joint creativity plays in pushing to give already highly successful technical products heightened performance and make them more affordable and indispensable in the march towards equipping constellations to enable global internet connectivity. It is by diversifying our technological partnerships – adding the years of experience and research from Leti to that we have gained from our long-standing partnership with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) – that helps us to further improve our products and prioritize the commercialization and serialization of the laser communication products that the market needs.”

About Mynaric

Mynaric is a manufacturer of laser communication technologies used to establish dynamic communication networks in air and space. Its wireless laser data transmission products include ground stations and flight terminals, which allow very large quantities of data to be sent wirelessly over long distances between aircrafts, autonomous drones, high altitude platforms, satellites and the ground at high data rates.

Globally, the need for fast and ubiquitous network connectivity is advancing inexorably. Data networks are today largely based on infrastructure on the ground, which cannot be expanded arbitrarily for legal, economic or logistical reasons. The future therefore calls for an expansion of the existing network infrastructure into air and space. With its wireless laser communication products Mynaric is positioned as a pioneer in this growth market.

About Leti

Leti, a technology research institute at CEA Tech, is a global leader in miniaturization technologies enabling smart, energy-efficient and secure solutions for industry. Founded in 1967, Leti pioneers micro-& nanotechnologies, tailoring differentiating applicative solutions for global companies, SMEs and startups. Leti tackles critical challenges in healthcare, energy and digital migration. From sensors to data processing and computing solutions, Leti’s multidisciplinary teams deliver solid expertise, leveraging world-class pre-industrialization facilities. With a staff of more than 1,900, a portfolio of 2,700 patents, 91,500 sq. ft. of cleanroom space and a clear IP policy, the institute is based in Grenoble, France, and has offices in Silicon Valley and Tokyo. Leti has launched 60 startups and is a member of the Carnot Institutes network.

CEA Tech is the technology research branch of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), a key player in innovative R&D, defence & security, nuclear energy, technological research for industry and fundamental science, identified by Thomson Reuters as the second most innovative research organization in the world. CEA Tech leverages a unique innovation-driven culture and unrivalled expertise to develop and disseminate new technologies for industry, helping to create high-end products and provide a competitive edge.