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Optical lasers to photograph space

  1. Jan 6, 2016 #1
    We use lasers containing various elements in vacuums on earth all the time. Is it possible to use lasers in the dirty vacuum of space to take pics and transmit at near the speed of light?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2016 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    What do you mean by using a laser to take a picture? Certainly the transmission of information by laser beam can be at the speed of light... :smile:
     
  4. Jan 6, 2016 #3
    Well, one example is an optical cable that uses light to send music or other digital info. Another example are machines that impregnate wafers with molecules of boron etc to create computer chips and they do it in a vacuum at near the speed of light. So it seems to me that images can be copied digitally from light years away.
     
  5. Jan 6, 2016 #4

    berkeman

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    Sure. In fact, I believe NASA already is using optical communication with at least one probe -- I'll see if I can find a reference for that.

    But you implied in your post that you want to use a laser to "take a picture". Do you just mean to transmit the information from a conventional camera instead?
     
  6. Jan 6, 2016 #5

    berkeman

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  7. Jan 6, 2016 #6
    Good point! What's gonna take the pic? Perhaps photo- receptor cells idk Thanks
     
  8. Jan 6, 2016 #7
  9. Jan 6, 2016 #8

    davenn

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    Yes, of course :smile:
    you need a digital camera to take the image/photo and through the magic of electronics, gets converted to a digital data stream to drive a laser
    at the receiver end you will need a laser sensitive receiver chip that will receive the laser light which will be converted to an electronic digital data stream
    and fed to what ever display system you desire

    Dave
     
  10. Jan 6, 2016 #9

    sophiecentaur

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    All em waves travel at c in space so there is nothing particularly magical about using lasers for communication. In fact there are many advantages in using 'conventional' radio frequency communications systems which can include very sophisticated signal processing to get very good signal to noise ratios / data error rates.
     
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