Global deeptech company Cailabs enjoys rapid growth as photonics for space sector booms 

Section : Corporate
Publication date: 18 March 2024
Cailabs Vue Drone Sans Filtre

Global deeptech company Cailabs is enjoying a period of rapid growth as the wider photonics sector booms, recording an +113% year on year increase in new contracts for its Optical Ground Station (OGS) line of products, as well as a +180% rise in orders for its laser material processing product line.

Cailabs, a world leader in laser communications, has expanded rapidly over the past year, opening an  office in downtown Washington, D.C. in September, and hiring experienced CEO Jeff Huggins as President of its US arm at the end of 2023. Huggins’ team includes Optics Engineer Ashley Fabioux, one of 25 team members Cailabs hired in 2023.

Cailabs plans to hire a further 30 full-time team members in 2024.

Cailabs is also involved in a number of major projects, including the ground-breaking Obs2OGS, as part of a consortium led by Raymetrics and implemented by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The project’s aim is to upgrade three Greek observatories into three OGS, enhancing optical communication capabilities. Cailabs will play a vital role thanks to its extensive experience in OGS design, manufacturing and integration.

Cailabs will also lead ‘Project Corossol’, funded by France’s Banque d’Investissement Public (BPI) and supported by the Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES). It aims to provide connectivity services to low-Earth orbit satellite operators. Cailabs will develop industrial OGS that can support a network of OGS used for the project.

Jean-François Morizur, co-founder and CEO of Cailabs, said:

‘The kind of photonics solutions we design and develop are in high demand both in Europe and the United States, and that’s testament to the maturity of the technology and its rising importance across a number of sectors, from defense to industry.

‘We’re also seeing a lot of activity in the wider photonics space, with private companies and national organizations successfully deploying laser tech in different ways. We welcome that.

‘It’s a great time to be involved in the sector, and we’re very optimistic about the future.’

The wider photonics market is growing fast. According to Mordor Intelligence, the global photonics market is estimated at USD $1.64 trillion, and is expected to reach USD 2.25 trillion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period (2024-2029).

Laser technology in particular has been in the headlines often in recent months. Last month, SpaceX announced that its laser system for Starlink was delivering over 42 petabytes of data (42 million gigabytes) for customers per day.

Although Starlink uses radio waves to beam high-speed internet to customers, SpaceX has also been fitting the company’s satellites with a laser link system to help drive down latency and improve the system’s global coverage.

Researchers from TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research, also announced that they had successfully connected a satellite to a ground station on Earth via self-developed laser communication technology – the first time that had been achieved with a Dutch laser satellite instrument.

Amazon, too, has successfully tested inter-satellite links between its two Project Kuiper prototypes in low Earth orbit (LEO), the company announced. Amazon is preparing to start filling out a mesh broadband network in space next year.

As one of the few companies that offers turnkey optical ground stations with a unique capacity to compensate for atmospheric turbulence, Cailabs has recently been responding to demands from the US defense sector, for which laser technology is a high priority.

About Cailabs:

Cailabs is a global deeptech company with offices in France and the United States. Founded in 2013, it designs and manufactures photonics products with groundbreaking applications in space, defence, energy and other major industries.

For free-space communications, Cailabs uses unique beam-shaping technology, Multi Plane Light Conversion (MPLC) to guarantee its clients an efficient, resilient laser link, capable of delivering even in the most challenging environments. In ground-based telecoms, Cailabs enables faster, more reliable, and safer data transmission. And in the industrial sector, it allows for more precise and competitive processes.

By combining its mastery of the science of light with outstanding engineering, Cailabs is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, accelerating progress and paving the way for a brighter future.

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