The European Data Relay System (EDRS) is the most sophisticated laser communication network ever designed.
Dubbed the ‘SpaceDataHighway’, EDRS will help Earth-observing satellites to transmit large quantities of potentially life-saving data down to Europe in near-real time.
It's not only satellites in the sky, however. EDRS comprises a space segment that covers Europe and provides quasi-continuous contact on a global scale as well as the ground segment to support this coverage.
With ground stations and control centres all over Western Europe, EDRS increases the time a satellite can be in contact with its ground station by four.