Photonics, that is widely used in several sectors and products, even commercial, does not have the same diffusion in Space systems, with an exception for detectors in optical instrumentations and solar cells for power production. Nevertheless, the potentials of the photonic technologies in terms of performance improvement and both mass and cost reduction are well clear to the space systems designers. Also in the frame of ASI projects these technologies have not large application, but some competences firstly developed by research group in other frameworks have been supported for space application. In this paper some considerations will be highlighted about the perspectives of photonics for space applications and a review will be given of recent Italian activities.
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