Ultra-hot lasers that make holes in the clouds could pave the way for high-speed satellite communications by 2025, scientists say.
Although satellite radio communication is powerful, it can no longer meet the daily demand for information flow.
Instead, scientists are increasingly looking for lasers that can carry 10,000 times more information than radio waves.
However, their only problem is that they can not penetrate clouds and fog, an obstacle that scientists say they could have overcome.
Scroll down to watch the video
Ultra-hot lasers that make holes in clouds could pave the way for high-speed satellite communications by 2025, say scientists (artist's impression)
Due to their density, the clouds stop the laser beams and encode the transfer of information.
Scientists at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have devised an ultra-hot laser that creates a temporary hole in the cloud, which allows the laser beam containing the information to pass.
This is the first in the world, according to his article, published in the journal Optica.
People are increasingly concerned about the security problems associated with the use of radio frequencies.
Its long wavelength also limits the amount of information transmitted, while the available frequency bands are scarce. This is why research is becoming lasers.
"It's a new technology full of promises," said Jean-Pierre Wolf, a professor in the Physics Section of the UNIGE Faculty of Sciences.
"Very short wavelengths can carry 10,000 times more information elements than the radio frequency, and there are no limits on the number of channels," he said.
"Lasers can also be used to target a single person, which means it's a very safe way of communicating."
Experts are building more and more ground stations capable of receiving laser signals in various parts of the world.
The idea is to choose the station selected by the satellite according to the weather.
Although satellite radio communication is powerful, it can no longer meet the daily demand for information flow (stock image)
However, this is not ideal, since it is difficult to know if there will be cloud cover at specific times.
"We want to solve the problem by making a hole directly through the clouds so that the laser beam can pass," said Professor Wolf.
His team has developed a laser that heats the air to more than 1,500 ° C.
It produces a shock wave to eject the suspended drops of water that make up the cloud.
This creates a hole a few centimeters wide across the thickness of the cloud through which the laser could travel.
It is the discovery of these ultra powerful lasers that has just received the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018.
"All you need to do is keep the laser beam in the cloud and send the laser containing the information at the same time," said Guillaume Schimmel, a team researcher led by Professor Wolf.
"Then it slides into the hole through the cloud and allows the data to be transferred."
This & # 39; laser cleaner & # 39; it is currently being tested on artificial clouds 20 inches (50 cm) thick but containing 10,000 times more water than a natural cloud.
& # 39; Our experiments mean that we can prove opacity similar to natural clouds. Now we will try to do it in thicker clouds up to a kilometer thick, "said Professor Wolf.
"We are talking about a possible global implementation by 2025, and our idea is to be ready and allow countries that are overcast to have this technology," he said.
WHAT IS ATHENA'S LASER OF LOCKHEED MARTIN?
The Lockheed Martin laser is a combined fiber beam laser, which means that it gathers individual lasers, generated through fiber optics, to generate a unique and intense laser beam.
This allows a scalable laser system that can be made more powerful by adding more fiber laser subunits.
Athena uses the 30 kW Accelerated Laser Demonstration Initiative of Lockheed Martin (ALADIN).
It is powered by a compact Rolls-Royce turbo generator.
Army chiefs expect the radical weapon to provide protection against threats such as swarms of drones or a large number of rockets and mortars.