Just wanted to get some opinions on what might be some emerging/non-traditional ways to deal with 2 phases of a Mars mission where communication between Mars and Earth would be suspended for a brief period.
Little bit of background: A communications "blackout" occurs once every 2 years when the Line of Sight between Mars and Earth is blocked by the Sun.
A "whiteout" occurs when the Earth is between the sun and Mars and too much solar radiation may make it impossible to communicate with Earth.
Some options that have been thrown around are setting up L4 lagrange point relay satellites and putting a satellite in an orbit that would coincide with the blackout duration to enable LOS communication for that period exclusively...
I'm a university student looking into this stuff with no prior experience and I would appreciate any creative input on how to deal with this problem and how to justify a solution with supporting calculations (link budget analysis? orbit simulation?)
For context : I'm trying to design a communication system between Mars and Earth to support future inhabitation of Mars