Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NIST Micro-Positioner May Help Send Messages From The Stars

Date:
November 11, 2002
Source:
National Institute Of Standards And Technology (nist)
Summary:
Phoning home from 93 billion miles away--only E.T. and other science fiction characters can do that. But with the help of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) know-how, reality soon may catch up with imagination.

Phoning home from 93 billion miles away--only E.T. and other science fiction characters can do that. But with the help of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) know-how, reality soon may catch up with imagination.

Conceptual designs for a "realistic interstellar explorer," or RISE--a highly autonomous craft that would travel far beyond this solar system to collect scientific data--call for a laser-based communications link to Earth that relies in part on a recent NIST invention called a Parallel Cantilever Bi-axial Micro-Positioner. The prototype NIST device acts as a mechanical filter that generates very straight lines by screening out all other motions. Primarily intended for use in the delicate assembly and alignment of optoelectronic devices and applications in micro- and nano-manufacturing, the micro-positioner in a different application offers a promising means for meeting the demanding range, mass and power requirements for the RISE.

In its interstellar role, the micro-positioner would be used to position a lens that steers a laser beam communication link toward Earth. The beam must be pointed precisely because the distances would be, well, astronomical. The RISE is envisioned as having a range up to 1,000 Astronomical Units (AU)--1,000 times the distance from the Earth to the sun, or 93 billion miles.

A recent paper by researchers at NIST and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (which is designing the RISE) concluded that an optical communications downlink spanning 1,000 AU is technically feasible in the next decade if these new technologies can be sufficiently refined. For example, the current range of the NIST micro-positioner would have to be improved by a factor of nearly 10.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Standards And Technology (nist). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Standards And Technology (nist). "NIST Micro-Positioner May Help Send Messages From The Stars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021111065804.htm>.
National Institute Of Standards And Technology (nist). (2002, November 11). NIST Micro-Positioner May Help Send Messages From The Stars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021111065804.htm
National Institute Of Standards And Technology (nist). "NIST Micro-Positioner May Help Send Messages From The Stars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021111065804.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lamborghini Presents First Hybrid at Paris Show

Lamborghini Presents First Hybrid at Paris Show

AFP (Oct. 2, 2014) Luxury brand Lamborghini presents its first hybrid car at the Paris Car Show, the Asterion, fuelled by battery in the city and reaching 320 kilometres per hour on the open road. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Brings Iconic Mustang to Europe

Ford Brings Iconic Mustang to Europe

AFP (Oct. 2, 2014) Ford's iconic Mustang goes on display at the Paris Motor Show ahead of its commercial launch in Europe next year. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins