A U.S. military agency has tapped LGS Innovations to develop an inter-satellite communications system.

HERNDON, Va.,  (UPI) — Prototype optical communication terminals for light-based communication between micro-satellites in low-Earth orbit are being developed by LGS Innovations.

The two lightweight, low-power terminals were ordered by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which plans to launch them on satellites weighing less than 100 pounds.

“Small satellites represent the next generation of global communication technologies,” said Kevin Kelly, chied executive officer of LGS Innovations. “A constellation of small satellites that can communicate with each other will improve our armed forces’ ability to send and receive data from around the planet quickly, safely, securely, and at the lowest cost to date.”

The terminals are to weigh less than two pounds each and will operate on less than three watts of power. They will be jam-resistant and provide high-data-rate, low-latency communications.

The monetary value and other details of the DARPA contract were not disclosed.