About Us

Satellite Laser Technologies and Our Unit

Recent advances in optical and laser technologies, such as fiber optics, have enabled communication between distant devices through lasers or light waves, ushering humankind into a new era of space communications.

Optical communications yield an extremely high frequency carrier wave, show great potential to reduce device size and weight while maximizing data rate and capacity, and are free from legal regulations on defining new bandwidth. These characteristics are likely to make optical communications more effective than radio waves in the future.

The development of technology employing ultrahigh-speed optical data transmissions between LEOs (Low Earth Orbits) and ground stations is the first step in establishing promising communication methods for retrieving data and establishing communication links all around the globe, including manned space stations.


We are conducting studies on satellite laser technologies. As a member of the Space Communications Systems Laboratory, our unit is in charge of the research and development activities for inter-satellite and satellite-ground laser communication technologies.

1970s- Studies on horizontal propagation of lasers on the ground
1984 Transmission experiments between the ground and a satellite using a vidicon camera aboard ETS-III
1985 The world's first experiment of 0.5 μm wavelength laser transmission to GMS
1988 Carbon dioxide laser (wavelength: 10.6 μm) transmission experiments
1994 -
The world's first success in optical communications between the ground stations and a satellite using the basic laser communication experimental equipment (LCE)
1989 -
Observation of geodetic satellites (GMS,LAGEOS) using satellite laser ranging systems, and ADEOS (RIS) observation by carbon dioxide laser radar
2001 Success in H-IIA test flight laser ranging equipment (LRE) and ranging ADEOS2
2004 GOLEM(Ground-to-Orbit Laser transmission Experiments with MicroLabSat)
2006 OICETS("Kirari") Satellite-to-ground-station optical communications experiments