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28 November 1988 The Challenge
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We are on the brink of major technology and system breakthroughs for high data rate atmospheric and space communications. At present, radio systems operate below 60 GHz and are the traditional workhorses for satellite communications. Legal constraints and the laws of physics limit data rates on these systems. Near infrared light systems provide the promise to meet space transmission requirements of the 21st century, much as present fiber optic systems satisfy bandwidth requirements well into the next century. Gigabit data rates are being achieved on operational systems. The challenge we face is how soon equivalent transmission rates will be made available for space application. The position is taken that if we can overcome three optical system and technology issues, the challenge will be met sooner rather than later. In declining order of importance the issues are: Optical pointing, acquisition and tracking Laser diode optical sources that produce sufficient output power Optical detector technology
© (1988) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Roger L. Freeman "The Challenge", Proc. SPIE 0996, High Data Rate Atmospheric and Space Communications, (28 November 1988);

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