Using Fiber Optics to Communicate in Outer Space

9598872_SWhew…much of what we talk about this blog seems to be the stuff of sci-fi poetry. Underwater cables spider webbing the world, bringing together our various voices and helping us to communicate. Additionally, a lot of what we talk about seems to be the stuff of sci-fi espionage or cosmic noir. All up and down the California coast, shadowy criminals cutting cords in the middle of the night. That is all fascinating, but there’s one thing we’ve haven’t brought up and that’s how fiber optics will help humanity take that next great leap: space. Yes, we’re talking about space travel. There has been much momentum of late regarding the technological capabilities of manmade space travel with the help of fiber optics. Or, at the very least, can help humanity better shoot their message into space as discussed in this Live Science article.

Stephanie Pappas of Live Science talks with Doug Vakoch, a researcher at the SETI Institute in charge of interstellar message composition, which means an organization dedicated to trying to make contact with aliens. We know, we know – a little farfetched, but it’s interesting to see how fiber optics plays a role in this (almost) Holy Grail quest.

He says, “If another civilization wants to conceal its identity, it doesn’t even have to worry about encryption. If you look at telecommunications as it is developing here on Earth, we have been noisy in the past. We had a lot of TV and radio going out into space. Now, as we shift to communication by fiber-optic or by telecommunication satellite, there is less of this leakage going off into space.”

We understand what you must be thinking – That guy sounds crazy, and you might be right, but whether aliens exist or don’t exist isn’t really the point; what’s important to note is that more and more people see fiber optics as a way to branch off into space, into that great beyond. If we can spider web the world through undersea cables, wouldn’t it make sense if we can spider the skies above? It makes sense to us!

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