We suggest a new satellite data relay infrastructure in Low Earth orbit using a combination of radio and optical communications to vastly increase the bandwidth, responsiveness and security of next generation space based data networks. The backbone of Space Union network would consist of 32 gateway satellites flying around 700 km altitude and distributed in 4 polar orbits. Gateway satellites would use high speed laser terminals to pass the data between each other and a combination or radio and optical communication for ground station links. Instead of the need to directly communicate with specific ground station for limited pass duration, customer satellites in Low Earth Orbit would be able to relay their data to the nearest available ground station via satellites operated by Space Union at any time.
How would it work:
Our cellular network topology would allow radio frequency to be re-used many times while optical communication has orders of magnitude higher bandwidth than the whole current radio spectrum and is not regulated.
The constellation is distributed in such a way that at least 2 gateway satellites would be accessible at any instant of time. Since each satellite orbit is crossing the poles, ground stations placed in polar regions would enable full time 24/7 access to the network.
Due to a very narrow signal beamwidth, optical communication is known to be highly resistant to jamming, interference and eavesdropping. Furthermore, de-centralized network architecture ensures that even if one of the gateway satellites is undermined the network would still be fully functional.