Proceedings PaperOptical Communications Systems And Technology For Deep-Space Exploration
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Planetary and other deep-space missions of the future will require data return rates that far exceed current communication capabilities. Optical communications technology is expected to satisfy many of these needs. The overall architectural concepts and deployment strategies for deep-space optical communications is described. Design and development activities for the planetary spacecraft subsystem, as well as the Earth-vicinity reception system are then presented, along with some of the key supporting technology developments. Finally, the planning for deep-space optical communications systems developments and experimental demonstrations is discussed, as well as several of the technological challenges that must be overcome to fully realize the capabilities of this important technology.