Nanosatellites operating singly or in clusters are anticipated for future space science missions. To implement this new communications paradigm, we are approaching cluster communications by first developing an infrared (IR) intra-craft wireless bus capability, following initially the MIL-STD-1553B protocol. Benefits of an IR wireless bus are low mass, size, power, and cost, simplicity of implementation, ease of use, minimum EMI, and efficient and reliable data transfer. Our goals are to maximize the reliable link margin in order to afford greater flexibility in receiver placement, which will ease technology insertion. We have developed a concept demonstration using a high-speed visible-band silicon PIN photodiode and a high-efficiency visible LED operating at a data rate up to 4 Mb/sec. In designing an internal IR wireless bus, we have characterized various candidate materials, emitters, and geometries, assuming a single reflection. Thus, we have measured the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) for five different materials characteristic of typical spacecraft structures, which range from nearly Lambertian to highly specular. We have fit our data to empirical BRDF functions and modeled the detected irradiance anywhere in the plane of incidence for a divergent (LED) emitter. We have also determined the angular limits on the link geometry to remain within the required bit error rate by determining the received signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for minimum values of irradiance received at the detector.