Analyses of uplink and downlink data from recent free-space optical communications experiments carried out between Table Mountain Facility and the Japanese ETS-VI satellite are presented. Fluctuations in signal power collected by the satellite's laser communication experiment due to atmospheric scintillation and its amelioration using multiple uplink beams are analyzed and compared to experimental data. Downlink data was analyzed to determine the cause of a larger than expected variation in signal strength. In spite of the difficulty in deconvolving atmospheric effects from pointing errors and spacecraft vibration, experimental data clearly indicate significant improvement in signal reception on the uplink with multiple beams, and the need for stable pointing to establish high data rate optical communications.© (1997) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.