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This paper describes the achievements in optical intersatellite communication based on technology developments that started in Europe (European Space Agency) more than 30 years ago. In 2001, the world-first optical intersatellite communication link was established (between the SPOT-4 and Advanced Relay and TEchnology MIssion Satellite (ARTEMIS) satellites), proving that optical communication technologies can be reliably mastered in space. In 2006, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) demonstrated a bidirectional optical link between its Optical Inter-Orbit Communications Engineering Test Satellite and ARTEMIS, and in 2008, the German Space Agency (DLR) established an intersatellite link between the near-field infrared experiment and TerraSAR-X satellites already based on the second generation of laser communication technology.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:16 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2010