posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 09:22 PM
Alien species may well not even be paying attention to radio waves. Useful as they are, radio transmission also has some major limitations and in a
lot of ways our civilization is already starting to grow past radio as a prime means of communication, certainly past the wide casting of powerful
radio signals out into the cosmos kind.
Satillite TV uses radio transmissions on a huge scale, but they do so by broadcasting right back down to the Earth from geosynchronous orbit in space,
so all those transmissions are lost to the cosmos. Terrerestrial TV and radio transmissions still exist, but they are going the say of the dodo,
too. Cable, internet, etc. which go through wires of one sort or another have already taken over as the primary means of communication for most of
the modern world. An alien species looking at the transmissions we're putting out via radio today would only see our major networks, still
broadcasting terrestrially, but all those hundreds of cable channels and XM/Sirius radio channels we also have going on, as well as all of our
internet communications are invisible from their point of view. They could be eavesdropping on us, but they'd be getting an incomplete view of who
we are at this point.
I think most terrestrial radio broadcasting will be gone in the not to distant future, though to some extent it will exist because it does have its
uses and is so easy to do. But on the massive scale we see even now, I think in a century that will be finished. It might well be that a developing
civilization only has need of the technology for a good two centuries or so and then its on to better, more capable systems.
Lasers transmission is already possible and far better for many applications. Lasers are also direct, so only the recipient gets the message. If
someone can figure out how to use quantum entanglement for communications then one could transmit data instantly from, say, a rover on Mars back to
Earth rather than having to wait dozens of minutes for it to travel through space as we have to now. That would be a huge advancement if it is
possible (many say it's not), but that or something like it would mean two-way transmissions of data/images/voice/etc. would be at a level far beyond
what can be done with radio. You could never broadcast wildly with such a tech, but for talking to Earth from a ship at Jupiter or for Earth talking
to a ship that's traveled all the way to Alpha Centauri instantly, it would be perfect.
Assuming an advanced civilization has long since gone past the radio of tech, past even other things on this list and is using something like quantum
entanglement or some other hype-advanced tech to communicate, they may not even be looking for signals coming in the form of radio waves. Their mark
of an intelligent species worth paying attention to might have a higher bar than just pumping out sit coms and radio sports casts to the cosmos. Then
again, they might just have detectors scanning the heavens for any and all signals on the electro-magnetic spectrum, radio included, so perhaps those
signals would pique their interest and be cause for them to send a mission to its source and see what we are up to.