The technology development, spacecraft systems impact, design examples and overall development plan for optical deep space communications are described. Design examples include moderate distance links like ones from Mars to Earth, out through a potential mission to a distance of 1000 A.U. The technology development plan, which includes both ground-based as well as Earth orbit-based reception considerations, spans the period from 1985 to the year 2003. Past technology developments in high efficiency lasers, optical modulation and coding, and high power efficiency communications technqiues at multiple bits of information per detected photon are also discussed.
James R. Lesh,
"Deep Space Optical Communications Development Program", Proc. SPIE 0756, Optical Technologies for Space Communication Systems, (3 June 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.940017; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.940017