Effective operation of a space control system requires extremely accurate acquisition, tracking, pointing and discrimination (ATPD) capabilities, and should provide the ability to disrupt or degrade an adversary space operations if needed. We present a laser based system concept that will offer an innovative solutions to satisfy many space control mission needs. A long-range adaptive laser tracking system (ALTS) described here will provide the required capabilities in target tracking and characterization. It is based on an approach that uses the target as one of the mirrors of the laser resonator. Then, due to specificity of laser, the parameters of its emission allow for deriving the complete information on spatial-angular position of the target, its range, velocity, and flight direction. In this paper we discuss the architecture and operational principles of the ALTS capable in performing the required ATPD function for a remote target. A double-cavity laser scheme with its resonators coupled through the phase-conjugate mirror (PCM) is at the heart of the system. Four-wave mixing mechanism is applied here to form the PCM. Such a scheme allows for automatic adaptive operation of the laser with movable mirror. Both, the results of the theoretical analysis and experimental studies of the proposed ALTS system will be presented, as well as the methods of detecting the spatial-temporal characteristics of the target (its position, range, velocity) through analysis of the received signal. In addition the perspectives of using the proposed ALTS for remote target imaging are also discussed.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.