The future of NASA’s laser communications

Illustration of LCRD relaying data from ILLUMA-T on the International Space Station to a ground station on Earth. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Dave Ryan NASA uses lasers to send information to and from Earth, employing invisible beams to traverse the skies, sending terabytes of data—pictures and videos—to increase our knowledge of the universe. This … Read more

Chip-scale Floquet topological insulators to enhance 5G wireless communications

This schematic (left) shows the implementation of our Floquet PTI, the image in the middle shows the actual device, and on the right we show measurements demonstrating the robust propagation of electromagnetic signals across the device. Credit: Nagulu et al. Floquet topological insulators are materials with topological phases that originate from tailored time-dependent perturbations of … Read more

Unexpected light behavior may be harnessed to improve optical communications and sensors

The NIST team directed light into an ultrathin layer of silicon nitride etched with grooves to create a diffraction grating. If the separation between the grooves and the wavelength of light is carefully chosen, the intensity of light declines much more slowly, linearly rather than exponentially. Credit: S. Kelley/NIST Shine a flashlight into a murky … Read more