Status Report

Free-space optical links for space communication networks

By SpaceRef Editor
December 29, 2020
Filed under ,

Alberto Carrasco-Casado, Ramon Mata-Calvo

Future spacecraft will require a paradigm shift in the way the information is transmitted due to the continuous increase in the amount of data requiring space links. Current radiofrequency-based communication systems impose a bottleneck in the volume of data that can be transmitted back to Earth due to technological as well as regulatory reasons. Free-space optical communication has finally emerged as a key technology for solving the increasing bandwidth limitations for space communication while reducing the size, weight and power of satellite communication systems, and taking advantage of a license-free spectrum. In the last few years, many missions have demonstrated in orbit the fundamental principles of this technology proving to be ready for operational deployment, and we are now witnessing the emergence of an increasing number of projects oriented to exploit space laser communication (lasercom) in scientific and commercial applications. This chapter describes the basic principles and current trends of this new technology.

Comments: 66 pages, 40 figures

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Journal reference: Chapter of the book “Springer Handbook of Optical Networks”, 2020

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-16250-4_34

Cite as: arXiv:2012.13166 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2012.13166v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Alberto Carrasco-Casado 

[v1] Thu, 24 Dec 2020 08:24:32 UTC (4,337 KB)

SpaceRef staff editor.