Australia is a world leader in several emerging photonics technologies that
are particularly relevant to solving the current bottleneck in data transmission
rates. NASA adopted the recent work of Australian scientists highlighting the
need for lasers in order to solve the communications problem. Australia has a
longstanding and fundamental role in the radio-based Deep Space Network, going
beyond its geographical location. Australia has long provided specialized
receivers for key missions and is particularly well equipped to do the same
for key components for optical space communications.
A consortium is proposed, comprised of several heretofore unassociated
Australian institutions with proven track records of world-class expertise in
areas fundamental to the interplanetary laser communications concept. It
will manage a portfolio of research projects that build on the institutions'
existing strengths and develop new capabilities to generate new knowledge and
understanding in the relevant fields. It will work in close collaboration with
overseas organizations such as NASA and JPL.
This concept provides a way for Australia to capitalise on its strategic
advantages to become an indispensable partner in the world-wide scientific space
exploration effort, by developing critical components of the space infrastructure.
The Australian Centre for Space Photonics
To expand unique Australian capabilities and experience
to progress research into key technologies for an interplanetary high-data rate
optical communications link that are synergistic with near term space communication