Inter-satellite optical wireless communication (Is-OWC) trends: a review, challenges and opportunities

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Maan Muataz Abdulwahid
Sefer Kurnaz
Ayça Kurnaz Türkben
Mohammed Raisan Hayal
Ebrahim Eldesoky Elsayed
Davron Aslonqulovich Juraev


Satellite communication has been achieving high-speed transmission for over 50 years. However, alongside these advancements, other IT and telecommunications systems have also improved their performance. As a result, these significant gains are less apparent to the public compared to if this surge in performance had occurred in isolation. Satellite communications serve various purposes, including civilian and military surveillance, telecommunications, object tracking, and space exploration missions. Bulk production of small satellites in clusters can prove beneficial for activities such as wildfire monitoring, research missions, gravity mapping, and water-based investigations due to their size, capacity, and durability limitations. Additionally, communications satellites, enabled by multi-satellite systems, can help study the near-earth environment and facilitate more efficient and cost-effective space exploration. Inter-satellite links have recently gained considerable attention due to their advantages over conventional microwave links in satellite communications. These advantages include the utilization of underutilized and unregulated spectrum availability, large channel bandwidth, lightweight equipment, reduced power and mass requirements, secure transmission, high-speed long-reach links, and cost-effectiveness. After providing a background on satellite communication, we present a brief overview of Inter-Satellite Optical Wireless Communication (Is-OWC) satellite communication systems for various applications. Furthermore, an important aspect in determining satellite applications is the allocation of satellites utilizing Is-OWC links in different orbits. We also explore and compare different orbits based on various aspects. The study highlights the significance of employing advanced modulation techniques to improve the satellite field and achieve higher performance. Additionally, the research explains the importance of utilizing the Ka-band and addresses limitations associated with Is-OWC, such as the Doppler impact, pointing errors between satellites, tracking, and different sources of noise. It emphasizes that Is-OWC links are crucial for providing global coverage for communication purposes.


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Muataz Abdulwahid, M. ., Kurnaz, S., Kurnaz Türkben, A. ., Hayal, M. R., Elsayed, E. E. ., & Aslonqulovich Juraev, D. (2024). Inter-satellite optical wireless communication (Is-OWC) trends: a review, challenges and opportunities. Engineering Applications, 3(1), 1–15. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Maan Muataz Abdulwahid









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