Oxford-based laser company wins Florida, USA space competition

Archangel Technology

A UK headquartered laser communications startup has boosted its international ambitions after winning the top prize in the 2020 Aerospace Innovation & Tech Forum in Florida, USA>

Archangel Lightworks, which is based at Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, has developed a new generation of space-air laser communication terminals and technologies to close the gap between space operations and air operations and allow hybrid systems to operate at greater efficiency and efficacy. Being able to elevate the terminals above the cloud is a key enabler for industry uptake of laser communication. The best place to use laser communications is where the cloud isn’t.

The award came just days after the historic launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon from Florida, showcasing the strength of the US state’s aerospace ecosystem to the world and highlighting the prestige of winning such an award.

The Florida Venture Forum, which hosted the event, was established in 1984. It is an investor networking group in Florida, providing Florida-based companies with opportunities to meet investors as well as other entrepreneurial and emerging companies.

The candidate companies were whittled down to a final 20, who presented to a distinguished panel of judges made up of aerospace leaders and investors over the course of two weeks.

Dan Sola, CEO of Archangel Lightworks, said: “I’m thrilled and humbled on behalf of the team to be selected from such a strong field of ground-breaking companies, especially so soon after the recent successful launch from Florida. Archangel Lightworks has been working on US expansion plans for our laser communication products and services. This award, contacts and associated prestige will support us in building strong connections in Florida, and Space Florida are already proving to be excellent partners.”

Kevin Burgoyne, President and CEO of the Florida Venture Forum, said: “This was an extremely tough competition due to the overall outstanding quality of our selected companies. Congratulations to the winners, and to all of our presenters, on what was truly an inspiring competition that bodes very well for the aerospace and technology industries in Florida. They join a growing list of cutting-edge companies the Forum has helped propel forward and upward. We are extremely grateful to our partners at Space Florida for their continuing support and leadership in this effort.”

Archangel Lightworks is a space start-up based on the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire with a mission to 100x the data downloadable from space.

Archangel Lightworks was spun out of Archangel Aerospace, a niche consultancy for High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) that facilitated the world-record flight campaigns and activities on six continents.

Following initial proof of concept projects, Lightworks was established in 2017 and was profitable in its first year.  Now, with commercial partners and the European Space Agency,  Lightworks is building laser communication infrastructure to support the burgeoning space industry.