Optical communications will complement radio frequency (RF) communications in the coming decades to enhance throughput, power efficiency and link security of satellite communication links. To enable optical communications technology for intersatellite links and (bi-directional) ground to satellite links, TNO develops a suite of technologies in collaboration with industry, which comprises of terminals with different aperture sizes, coarse pointing assemblies and fast steering mirrors. This paper presents the current state of the development of TNO technology for optical space communications. It mainly focuses on the development of an optical head with an entrance aperture of 70 mm, an optical bench for CubeSats and coarse pointing assemblies (CPAs). By continuing these steps, world wide web based on satellite communications will come closer.
TNO and DLR envision optical free-space communication between ground stations and geostationary telecommunication satellites to replace the traditional RF links for the next generation of Very High Throughput Satellites. To mitigate atmospheric turbulence, an Adaptive Optics (AO) system will be used. TNO and DLR are developing breadboards to validate Terabit/s communication links using an AO system. In this paper the breadboard activities and first results of the sub-systems will be presented. Performance of these subsystems will be evaluated for viability of terabit/s optical feeder links.