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PostSubject: Article: Interstellar Communication   Article: Interstellar Communication I_icon_minitimeSun Mar 01, 2015 12:27 am

Interstellar Communications

As with interstellar travel, communications have to be done at speeds faster than light to arrive in any meaningful amount of time. There are two methods for this; tachyon transmission and quantum entanglement.

Tachyon transmission is the most widespread method. Tachyons are particles that travel with superluminal velocities, and so can be used to deliver messages with very small, almost meaningless delays across vast distances. A 50LY transmission will have a 0.005ms lag. It is cheap, and it can send tons of data, but it is not secure. Like a radio transmission, anyone with the proper equipment can pick such a transmission up, and this means that it is dangerous to use: encryption resistant to quantum computing is used to protect communications. In addition, it can be detected both when transmitting and, in close ranges, when receiving. Ships in stealth put themselves at risk when communicating.

This is where quantum entanglement comes in. Two particles are entangled and used to send messages through virtually the entire universe instantly. The transmission can't be intercepted by anyone, and is undetectable. The problem is, it is slow; it has a transmission rate of ten bytes/sec at the usual power setting, which may be good enough for text messages, but video chats become impossible. The energy requirements are also insane, and while they may be meaningless when the device is powered by a fusion reactor, a stealth ship on battery power may have to make a conscious choice between communication and escape.

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