• Technical Conference:  24 – 28 March 2024
  • Exhibition: 26 – 28 March 2024
  • San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California, USA

Does Optics have a Role in Space?

Sunday, 05 March, 16:00 – 18:30

Room 7AB


Optical Wireless Communication (OWC), also called free-space optical communication, has recently evolved in many significant ways and is now employed in a wide range of applications extending to space. Long-distance, high-data-rate communication in space is becoming increasingly important to support science data transfer, telemetry, remote monitoring, and Internet connectivity. As a result, there is a trend in space communication to transition from radio frequency-based links to links using optical beams. Key motivations are an unregulated spectrum, smaller size/weight, lower power consumption per bit, larger bandwidth, and significantly smaller beam diffraction, resulting in much smaller link loss and, thus, higher capacity. The promising OWC applications in space will include Low Earth Orbit satellite constellations and High-Altitude Platform Stations with Optical Inter-Satellite Links (OISLs), inter-satellite mesh networks, low latency networking, and integration of satellites and 5G-and-beyond. In addition, quantum technologies attract great interest for their potential applications in computing, sensing, and communications. Satellite-based quantum communications are interesting in this context for linking securely quantum devices to provide groundbreaking services leveraging space networks at a global scale. Several challenges need to be overcome to make future applications based on space optical links a reality. The workshop discuss the gigabit-per-second speed communication, the pointing-and-acquisition-tuning of OISLs at extremely high orbital speeds, the dynamic network routing, and the economic viability for OWC in space as well as the novel and secure space network concept based on optical technologies for satellite quantum information networks.


Eleni Diamanti, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, France

Morio Toyoshima, National Institute of Information & Communications Tech, Japan

Murat Yuksel, University of Central Florida, USA


Guray Acar, European Space Agency, Netherlands

Mohammed-Slim Alouini, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, SaudiArabia

Baris Erkmen, Hedron, USA

Bryan S. Robinson, MIT Lincoln Lab, USA

Cyrille Laborde, Thales Alenia Space, France

Juan Yin, University of Science and Technology of China, China