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Overview of deep space laser communication

Abstract

The deep space probe is a vital technology for observing and exploring the universe. It is thus intensifying as an aerospace research focus on an international scale. Despite improving the frequency band, the conventional microwave communication technique has difficulty satisfying the increased demand for the enormous volume of scientific data returning to the Earth. With a carrier frequency that is several orders of magnitude higher than the microwave, free-space optical communication is a robust and promising method for achieving both high bit rates and long distances in deep space communication. In this article, the history of this technology is summarized and the objective laws are formulated, while key techniques and development trends are analyzed. Finally, useful concepts and suggestions are proposed for the development of deep space laser communication in China.

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Correspondence to Ming Chen.

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Cite this article

Wu, W., Chen, M., Zhang, Z. et al. Overview of deep space laser communication. Sci. China Inf. Sci. 61, 040301 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-017-9216-0

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Keywords

  • deep space communication, deep space observation
  • development process
  • free space communication
  • laser communication