This paper presents a preliminary design of a smart composite telescope for space laser communication.
The smart composite telescope will be mounted on a smart composite platform with Simultaneous
Precision Positioning and Vibration Suppression (SPPVS), and then mounted on a satellite. The laser
communication is intended for the Geosynchronous orbit. The high degree of directionality increases the
security of the laser communication signal (as opposed to a diffused RF signal), but also requires
sophisticated subsystems for transmission and acquisition. The shorter wavelength of the optical spectrum
increases the data transmission rates, but laser systems require large amounts of power, which increases the
mass and complexity of the supporting systems. In addition, the laser communication on the
Geosynchronous orbit requires an accurate platform with SPPVS capabilities. Therefore, this work also
addresses the design of an active composite platform to be used to simultaneously point and stabilize an
inter-satellite laser communication telescope with micro-radian pointing resolution. The telescope is a
Cassegrain receiver that employs two mirrors, one convex (primary) and the other concave (secondary).
The distance, as well as the horizontal and axial alignment of the mirrors, must be precisely maintained or
else the optical properties of the system will be severely degraded. The alignment will also have to be
maintained during thruster firings, which will require vibration suppression capabilities of the system as
well. The innovative platform has been designed to have tip-tilt pointing and simultaneous multi-degree-of-
freedom vibration isolation capability for pointing stabilization.