Mynaric is a commercial manufacturer of wireless laser communication equipment for applications in aerospace. The airborne and spaceborne communication networks on which this equipment is installed are known as constellations. Mynaric was founded in 2009 by former employees of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). In turn, many of Mynaric’s key technologies are licensed from DLR.
In November 2013, Mynaric were the first ones able to successfully demonstrate laser communication from a jet. The aircraft they mounted the system to was the Panavia Tornado. They were able to achieve a data rate of 1 Gbit/s over a distance of 60 km while maintaining a flight speed of 800 km/h.
In February 2018, Mynaric was honored by having their laser communication products inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame of the Space Foundation. In April 2018, Mynaric announced a partnership with CEA-Leti. They are working on highly sensitive avalanche photodiode technologies which have the possibility of enabling longer link distances and reducing overall system complexity. In June 2018, Facebook’s Connectivity Lab reported achieving a bidirectional 10 Gbit/s air-to-ground connection using Mynaric technologies.
In March 2019, former SpaceX Starlink VP Bulent Altan joined Mynaric’s management board and they were able to raise an additional $12.5 million funding from the top investor of an undisclosed satellite network. In October 2019, Mynaric showed proof that its products were attractive to the market when they delivered multiple laser communication flight terminals to an undisclosed customer, solidifying proof that the company’s products are attractive to the market.
In October 2020, Mynaric was selected by Telesat to supply multiple units of its flagship CONDOR optical inter-satellite link terminals to DARPA’s Blackjack program. The terminals are scheduled to be delivered in mid-2021 with satellites scheduled to launch in the latter part of 2021. The launch will be the final test to ensure the operability of the CONDOR terminals. Mynaric has also made plans to set up a laser communication interoperability lab at its Los Angeles location. The lab is intended to serve as a hub and enabler for testing interoperability and to help establish a common laser communication standard.