Carillon Awarded DARPA Contract for Next Generation Satellite-to-Satellite Free Space Optical Communication (FSOC)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Carillon Technologies a $6.4M contract to prototype next generation satellite-to-satellite communication systems derived from cutting edge commercial Holographic Optical Beam Steering (HOBS) technology.

“Lightweight and affordable satellite-to-satellite optical communication is a breakthrough technology, not only for commercial and defense communication constellations currently being deployed, but also for new high-performance, highly-survivable space architectures,” said Dr. John D. Evans, CEO of Carillon Technologies. “This new solid-state HOBS technology will provide a step change in size, weight, and cost for satellite Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) systems.”

HOBS technology is being developed for automotive LIDAR applications by the commercial start-up Lumotive (Seattle, WA). Dr. Geb Akselrod, CTO of Lumotive notes, “We’re excited to collaborate with Carillon and DARPA. Carillon’s unique expertise forming business relationships that bridge the defense and commercial sectors has made this a win-win for everyone involved.” Akselrod continued, “Lumotive isn’t in the space business, but this effort is important to us because it will advance our technology and expand our supply chain, improving our product and allowing us to scale rapidly and with confidence as our commercial markets come on online.”

Currently R&D investments by venture, commercial and global companies dwarf those of the U.S. Government, with just 4% of global R&D performed within the defense ecosystem. “Carillon’s mission is to help ensure the security of America and the American people,” says Evans. “As a country, we cannot realistically hope to secure our Nation’s defense without robust access to commercial technology. Unfortunately, necessary government requirements make this collaboration nearly impossible. This DARPA effort exemplifies how Carillon’s team can bridge the defense and commercial worlds, and ensure America’s soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and guardians have the technology they need to ensure our security now, and into the future.”

About Carillon Technologies

Founded in 2017, Carillon Technologies serves as America’s nexus for Defense innovation. Currently, R&D investments by venture, commercial and global companies dwarf that of the U.S. government, with less than 4% of global R&D performed by the Defense community. Unfortunately, necessary Government requirements make collaboration between the defense and commercial sectors nearly impossible. Carillon’s team of experts bridge the commercial and defense sectors by creating novel business structures that meet government’s need for rapid secure access to cutting edge technology, while accelerating partner companies’ commercialization timeline and profitability. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @CarillonTech.

About Lumotive

Founded in 2018, Lumotive is a leader in solid-state, 3D-sensing systems, developing high-performance solutions for consumer electronics, industrial automation, robotics and automotive applications. The Seattle-based company’s lidar solutions leverage revolutionary beam-steering technology based on patented Light Control Metasurfaces™ to deliver an unprecedented combination of high performance (as measured by range, resolution and frame rate) and readiness for mass adoption (measured by cost, reliability and size). Lumotive’s random access beam-steering chips enable the industry’s first software-defined lidar with region-of-interest scanning, object tracking and advanced perception capabilities. Lumotive’s investors include Bill Gates and Quan FundsCEP. For more information, go to or on Twitter @LumotiveLidar.

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