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Archangel Lightworks Demonstrates World-Leading Rapid Deployment of Optical Ground Stations

Oxford, UK. (June 12, 2024) - Archangel Lightworks successfully demonstrates a world-leading capability for rapid deployment of an optical ground station without on-site calibration. 

An image of the TERRA-M OGS on a rooftop.

Accurate pointing, acquisition and tracking of satellites is critical to achieving high-performance and reliable space-ground optical satellite communications.  

To establish line of sight tracking, optical ground terminals generally need to point extremely accurately at the expected satellite position based on a pre-shared trajectory. Typically, a complex series of calibrations is required to determine the orientation of the optical instrument relative to planet Earth and the stars. This type of calibration requires a clear night sky, placing a weather-dependent constraint on deploying and commissioning optical ground stations. 

Archangel Lightworks has successfully demonstrated a world-leading capability for rapid optical ground station (OGS) deployment without needing on-site calibration: 

  • Factory calibration of an optical ground station was performed on 9th May 2024. 

  • The ground station was then stored in a different location for 11 days.   

  • The ground station was then brought out of storage and deployed within 30 minutes. 

  • Successful execution of open and closed loop satellite tracking was performed on 20th May 2024. 

No telescope model calibration was performed during commissioning. This type of accelerated commissioning is a critical enabling capability for the rapid, reliable deployment of satellite optical communication nodes. It allows for deployment and operation of optical ground stations in clear-sky daytime conditions, without needing to wait for a clear night for calibration. This feature is particularly important for high or low latitude deployments where there may be months of the year when the sun does not fully set. 

"This capability demonstration is a clear validation of the world-leading capabilities being developed by the Archangel Lightworks team and an indication of the step-change in ease of deployment and commissioning that we will be able to offer with our TERRA-M product." - Owain Pryce-Jones, CTO of Archangel Lightworks. 

If you are interested in deployable wireless laser communication capabilities, demonstration opportunities, or partnerships, get in touch here.



Archangel Lightworks builds deployable communication systems to connect networks in space with networks on the ground. Today, space and terrestrial networks are not well-connected leading to insecure, insufficient, and vulnerable infrastructure. High-volume, secure links between space and ground are needed. We are driving down the Size, Weight and Power & Cost (SWaP-C) of optical terminals to make lasercom available and affordable. Our core product, the TERRA-M, is a miniature optical ground station. The TERRA-M brings deployable, resilient connectivity to wherever it is needed, helping to solve some of Earth’s most critical problems from economic inclusion to climate change. 



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