Company Highlights 2021


As we enter 2022, we are looking back on all that the team achieved in 2021 - and what a year it was! We established a US subsidiary and opened an office in Florida, appointed a new CEO, were named Start-Up of the Year for Great Britain, completed a Quantum Key Distribution project with Airbus, successfully progressed the HALO project with ESA, made many new partners, and survived through more lockdowns…


We kicked off the year with the start of a new project, Viable Satellite Free-Space Optical Quantum Key Distribution Technologies (ViSatQT). ViSatQT is an Innovation UK project in collaboration with Airbus, Satellite Applications Catapult, University of Strathclyde and pioneering SMEs. The project aimed to prepare new modular flexible system architectures, technology landscape surveys and technology development roadmaps for lower cost, longer range, free space optical quantum communications – enabling strong, secure encryption for institutional and commercial customers in a post-quantum world. Find out more about the project here. In November we enjoyed presenting on the project with our partners at the UK National Quantum Technologies Showcase. The project reaches completion this month and we are exploring further exploitation opportunities with partners in the quantum area.


In March, we were honoured to be named Start-Up of the Year at the British Engineering Excellence Awards! This award was a true testament to the hard work the team has put into building the next generation of ultra-high performance, cloud tolerant, optical communication technologies. The British Engineering Excellence awards celebrate the very best in UK design engineering. Of Archangel Lightworks, the judges said, "Boldly ambitious, Archangel is developing a technologically challenging, but critical, form of advanced telecommunications". Read more about the award here.


March also saw Richard Johanson appointed as CEO, succeeding Dan Sola. Richard first joined the Archangel Lightworks team in 2019, working closely with Dan to pursue special projects, business development and partnership opportunities. Dan has moved to the role of Chairman and continues to support the company through its next phase of growth.


In May we announced the big news that we have established a US subsidiary!

Richard meets with the Space Florida team of Ryan Robertson, Tony Gannon and Keevin Williams in the Brevard County offices

Following on from winning Space Florida’s grand prize at the 2020 Florida Venture Aerospace Innovation and Tech Forum and with continued support from Space Florida, we chose to base Archangel Lightworks USA in Florida, with offices in Orlando. The establishment has been supported by University of Central Florida Soft-Landing Program.

View of Space X Inspiration4 Launch from our US office

In September, Richard was finally able to visit the US and spend time in our Orlando office, where we were greeted by some spectacular views! It is fantastic to be a part of the innovative and exciting Space community in Florida.


Whilst in the US, we enjoyed being able to attend events in person again. In Washington DC we attended SATELLITE 2021 whilst in Austin, Texas, we had a great time talking about laser communications and learning about acquisitions at Fed Supernova.



Back in the UK, all the stars aligned, and we found an evening of rare clear skies to conduct late night pointing-related tests. Our engineering team’s hard work paid off as the successful tests allow us to further progress the Critical Design Review phase of the HALO project in collaboration with the European Space Agency.


Outdoor Testing on the Harwell Campus

We also had the chance to showcase our technology to UK Ministry of Defence, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Defence and Security Equipment International(DSEI), Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Cabinet Office Space Lead, Patrick Cahill as they visited the Harwell Space Cluster.


Richard with Cabinet Office Space Lead, Patrick Cahill

In November, as COP26 took place in Glasgow, we highlighted the vital importance of earth observation data in solving the climate crisis. Satellites enable monitoring of the causes and impacts of climate change through global observations of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere, providing us data on the speed of glacier retreat, sea level rise, carbon soil health and much more. Every day, much of this valuable data is lost on orbit due to limitations caused by reliance on radio frequency communication from satellites to the ground. Our mission is to get 100x more of this valuable data downloaded from space – we can’t solve the climate crisis without space data. Learn more about the importance of this data here.



We ended the year with the opening of our seed fundraising round. “Archangel Lightworks is entering an exciting new phase bringing our technology to market with our partners and customers. Wireless laser communication is a critical technology for the future of connectivity. Given the number of satellites launching each year and the need to move data quickly and securely between satellites and to the ground, the number of laser communications opportunities is growing rapidly. This funding round will enable us to grow our team to take advantage of these new and emerging opportunities.“ says CEO, Richard Johanson. Find out more and get involved here.


Lots to celebrate and more to come. If you are interested in learning more or collaborating with us, please get in touch here.















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