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Shark Communications NASA Space Technology

NASA's LLCD Tests Confirm Laser Communication Capabilities In Space 107

Posted by timothy
from the just-beam-me-the-information-scotty dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This week, NASA released the results of its Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration's (LLCD) 30-day test carried out by its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) that is currently in orbit around the Moon. According to the space agency, the LLCD mission proved that laser communications are practical at a distance of a quarter of a million miles and that such a system could perform as well, if not better, than any NASA radio system."
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NASA's LLCD Tests Confirm Laser Communication Capabilities In Space

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does this make what SETI is looking for pointless? Should they instead be looking for lasers if they work better for communication.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      SETI is about detecting ambient electromagentic waves that may be of an "intelligent" origin. Lasers, however, are a specific form of electromagnetic wave. So in some sense, SETI is already looking for them.

      Now, lasers used for communications like this are of the utmost quality. Their dispersion (that is, how much the beam of light separates over time and distance) is very minimal. While a flashlight may have a large dispersion measured in meters a few centimeters from the light source, lasers used for comm

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        What about reflections. I noticed ambient glows around the areas where a laser pointed is directed at so I assume that some of the light scatters when it is reflected from any surface not a mirror.

        So lets assume two space crafts (man made) are using lasers to communicate in an orbit around mars, would we be able to detect and decode the communications from the reflections and scatter without directly watching the crafts or would it disperse so much that it wouldn't be noticeable from the earth.

    • No but then you simply can't intercept Whisker Lasers easily. You need to get a stealthed Recon-drone in the beam to do so.

    • Does this make what SETI is looking for pointless? Should they instead be looking for lasers if they work better for communication.

      Why would any of those lasers be aimed at us?

      • by symbolset (646467) *

        The idea is that any sufficiently advanced interstellar species using lasers for long-distance communications will have enough of them that at any given moment they will be pointed every which way. Much like a normal sophisticated urban human is carrying multiple radio devices.

        Although tenuous, it does get away from the background glare problem. Nobody out there is going to see an Earth based laser unless we're using one powerful enough to push a solar sail on an interstellar probe because glare of the s

    • by snooo53 (663796)
      The Planetary Society is doing an optical SETI search for laser signals. http://www.planetary.org/explore/projects/seti/optical-seti.html/ [planetary.org] Is it pointless? Well, you don't know until you look, and even then it could take a very very long time. Problem with a laser is you have to point it somewhere
    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

      this would be like those pulsar things that would be an extraordinary amount of energy if they radiated in all directions, but reasonable if it were a pulse of directed energy. which begs the question - why are they pointed at earth? one solution is clear. angels. it's a wonderful life!

    • Does this make what SETI is looking for pointless? Should they instead be looking for lasers if they work better for communication.

      No. SETI should be looking for sharks - duh.

    • by jd (1658)

      Optical SETI is an active field of research. It doesn't get talked about as much as radio SETI, in part because it is only recently that optical interferometry arrays became possible, in part because optical telescope time is expensive and in part because the atmosphere limits the quality of data for optics. There are (very recent) developments in autocorrection that reduce atmospherics, but the reality is that until someone parks an optical SKA telescope in space, the quality of telescope data won't be suf

  • ...dealing with telepathic cats.

  • By golly if we can put a laser for communicating in space we should be able to put a laser for communicating on a cell phone!

    I give you: http://theplayzer.com/ [theplayzer.com]
  • ...porn will be readily available on the Moon and beyond and we can always take a troll through deep space.
  • by NikeHerc (694644)
    What happens when you have to replace the gbic-equivalent on the moon???

You scratch my tape, and I'll scratch yours.