The general structure of a free-space optical (FSO) communication system based on astronomical telescopes is proposed. The light path for astronomical observation and for communication can be easily switched. A separate camera is used as a star sensor to determine the pointing direction of the optical terminal’s antenna. The new system exhibits rapid acquisition and is widely applicable in various astronomical telescope systems and wavelengths. We present a detailed analysis of the acquisition time, which can be decreased by one order of magnitude compared with traditional optical communication systems. Furthermore, we verify software algorithms and tracking accuracy.