In conventional satellites, the RF and microwave signal transmissions between electronic modules are accomplished using waveguide or coaxial lines. Advances in fiber-optic technology have made it possible to modulate low-noise RF and microwave signal on fiber-optic distribution lines, resulting in weight and space savings. These optical communication systems enable intrasatellite communications among the electronic modules like transmitters, receivers, and clocks. This paper summarizes findings from several studies on the use of fiber-optic lines for RF/microwave signal transmission on-board satellites. It will also update some experimental results of prototype systems developed previously for intrasatellite signal distribution.
Joseph J. Suter, Joseph J. Suter,
"Optical communication systems for satellite applications", Proc. SPIE 3714, Enabling Photonic Technologies for Aerospace Applications, (26 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354674; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.354674