The estimation of an inhomogeneous Poisson process (IHPP) rate function from a set of process observations is an important problem arising in optical communications and a variety of other applications. However, because of practical limitations of detector technology, one is often only able to observe a corrupted version of the original process. In this paper, we consider how inference of the rate function is affected by dead time, a period of time after the detection of an event during which a sensor is insensitive to subsequent IHPP events. We propose a flexible nonparametric Bayesian approach to infer an IHPP rate function given dead-time limited process realizations. Simulation results illustrate the effectiveness of our inference approach and suggest its ability to extend the utility of existing sensor technology by permitting more accurate inference on signals whose observations are dead-time limited. We apply our inference algorithm to experimentally collected optical communications data, demonstrating the practical utility of our approach in the context of channel modeling and validation.