I am conducting research into optical free space communication and small/nano satellites in LEO. I have found only a few companies which supply lasercom (laser communication) terminals (transmitter/receiver) for free space communication (TRL9): TESAT/DLR, Mynaric, Hyperion Technologies.
Small/ nano satellites have become popular platforms for a wide variety of scientific, commercial, and military remote sensing applications. I have read the main limitation of lasercom is atmospheric effects. Currently there is a lot of research on how to avoid/limit these effects.
I am interested in technical/design details.
What are the main technical challenges with bringing the benefits of lasercom technology to small satellites we meet in design a terminal for optical free space (laser) communication?
If we take a LED/LD, modulator, filter …, it will not work. We must think about setup parameters: size, power…
Which parameters are important for us to consider before the design/production of lasercom terminals?
EDIT 1: Could you give me some technical reason for question 1?
I thought, the reliability and PAT/PNT are the same requirement. If we need a reliable terminal, it will require a good PAT system. I have read that PAT/PNT, SWaP and the operating environment (sun, rain … atmospheric effects) are the main problems that engineers meet in designing a lasercom terminal. I was thinking other problem should be … For software or hardware engineers, will be important if the equipment is RF or laser terminal?