Tesla-C is an Optical Bench targeted at the small satellite market to allow for Direct-to-Earth laser communication links. It enables an increased bandwidth with higher security, at comparable on-board resource constraints. Tesla-C was designed, integrated, tested and qualified for flight in partnership between Nedinsco and TNO.

Tesla-C is part of Thales Alenia Space’s Optel-μ satellite communication terminal for microsatellites. The compact and robust design of Tesla-C enables Low-Earth-Orbit satellites to transmit up to 2 Gbps from a satellite to an optical ground station.


  • Bidirectional Optical Link up to 4400km
  • Optical wavelength 1064 nm – 1550 nm
  • 2 Gbit/s (@4400km)
  • 70mm aperture
  • Low volume
  • Low mass: <0,9kg
  • Low recurring cost
  • Operational temperature range: -20 °C +60 °C
  • Survival temperature range: -30 °C +70 °C
  • Pointing error Tx/Rx: <80urad RMS
  • WFE: 56nm RMS

Research & Development

Tesla-C was developed with the support of ESA under the ARTES 5.2/ 3-4 framework.

Point of contact

Stefan Van Neer