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Proceedings Paper

Superior utility of lasers for interstellar beacons, communications, and travel
Author(s): John D. G. Rather
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Paper Abstract

Present research supporting the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and Communications with Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CETI) is almost entirely focused upon microwave wavelength and technologies. This paper demonstrates compelling reasons why the search should be broadened to optical wavelengths. Previous calculations of laser transmission efficiency are shown to be incorrect because an essentially lossless laser transmission system is feasible and star noise can be rendered inconsequential. New perceptions regarding the feasibility of laser technologies, together with reassessments of signal-to-noise considerations, indicate both the feasibility and desirability of optical interstellar transmissions, particularly at infrared and visible wavelengths.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 August 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1867, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the Optical Spectrum, (6 August 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.150118
Show Author Affiliations
John D. G. Rather, NASA Headquarters (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1867:
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the Optical Spectrum
Stuart A. Kingsley, Editor(s)

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