posted on Dec, 22 2004 @ 11:15 AM
MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan Sherwood (585) 273-4726
December 21, 2004
New Technology Makes Possible Mars Webcam, Battlefield Lasers
It would be a planetary scientist’s dream to peer through the eyes of a distant rover’s lenses in real-time, looking around an alien landscape as if
she were actually on the planet’s surface, but current radio transmitters can’t handle the bandwidth necessary for a video feed across several million
miles. New technology recently patented by scientists at the University of Rochester, however, may make applications like a Mars video feed possible,
using lasers instead of radio technology. Special gratings inside the glass of a fiber laser virtually eliminate detrimental scattering, the main
hurdle in the quest for high-powered fiber lasers.
“We use lasers in everything from telecommunications to advanced weaponry, but when we need a high-powered laser, we had to fall back on old,
inefficient methods,” says Govind Agrawal, professor of optics at the University of Rochester. “We’ve now shown an incredibly simple way to make
high-power fiber lasers, which have enormous potential.”
By removing one of the main limitations of fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers, Agrawal has allowed them to replace traditionally more powerful, but
less efficient and poorer quality, traditional lasers. Currently, industries use carbon dioxide and diode-pumped solid-state crystal lasers for
welding or cutting metal and machining tiny parts, but these kinds of lasers are bulky and hard to cool. In contrast, the newest alternative, fiber
lasers, are efficient, easy to cool, more compact, and more precise. The problem with fiber lasers, however, is that as their wattage increases, the
fiber itself begins to create a backlash that effectively shuts down the laser.
well realtime video feed ect well thats nice and that from mars.