A study has been made to combine the functions of acquisition, tracking, and point-ahead in space optical com-munications into a single system utilizing an area array detector. This paper presents an analysis of the feasibility of the concept. The key parameters are: (1) optical power less than 1 pW at 0.86 μm, (2) acquisition in less than 30 seconds in an acquisition field of view (FONT) of 1 μrad, (3) tracking with 0.5 μrad rms noise at 1000 Hz update rate, and (4) point ahead transfer function precision of 0.25 μrad over a region of 150 μrad. Currently available array detectors have been examined. The most demanding specifications are low out-put noise, a high detection efficiency, a large number of pixels, and frame rates over 1 kHz. A proof-of-concept (POC) demonstration system is currently being built utilizing the Kodak HS-40 detector (a 128x128 photodiode array with a 64 channel CCD readout architecture which can be op-erated at frame rates as high as 40,000/sec). The POC system implements a windowing scheme and special pur-pose digital signal processing electronics for matched filter acquisition and tracking algorithms.