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Friday, December 31, 2021

IEEE Spectrum Looks at LIkely Emergent Milestones

12 Exciting Engineering Milestones to Look for in 2022 An electric aircraft race, a new dark-matter detector, and a permanent Chinese space station await   By Michael Koziol  ....  Only the first example is written out below. 

Psyche’s Deep-Space Lasers

In August, NASA will launch the Psyche mission, sending a deep-space orbiter to a weird metal asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. While the probe’s main purpose is to study Psyche’s origins, it will also carry an experiment that could inform the future of deep-space communications. The Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) experiment will test whether lasers can transmit signals beyond lunar orbit. Optical signals, such as those used in undersea fiber-optic cables, can carry more data than radio signals can, but their use in space has been hampered by difficulties in aiming the beams accurately over long distances. DSOC will use a 4-watt infrared laser with a wavelength of 1,550 nanometers (the same used in many optical fibers) to send optical signals at multiple distances during Psyche’s outward journey to the asteroid.  .....  (11 more at the link) 

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