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Silly question perhaps... but I got to thinking after reading that the Voyager is now almost out of the heliosheath.

What frequency/band would be suitable to communicate across stellar systems; say, from the Alpha Centauri System to our Solar System? Would the type of star/stars have a bearing on the frequency/band selected?

It's probably not a core electronics question - please feel free to vote to close/delete

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closed as off topic by Leon Heller, Olin Lathrop, stevenvh, Adam Lawrence, Kortuk Jun 21 '12 at 14:37

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good question, but is off topic here. Try the physics forum, or astro-physics if there is one. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jun 21 '12 at 12:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure that any communications system with a 9 year round-trip would be 'suitable' for anything much (except perhaps a product support hotline ;) \$\endgroup\$ – MikeJ-UK Jun 21 '12 at 13:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed, hence the note at the bottom of the post. I was thinking also in terms of the amount of power that would need to be fed applied to the output stage to ensure a decent signal strength across 4+ light-years of space. \$\endgroup\$ – Everyone Jun 22 '12 at 2:38
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I actually think this would get more traction in the SciFi SE site. But with regards to what is currently being experimented with, check out the MESSENGER spacecraft. It holds the distance record for optical information transfer. That means lasers. As for frequency, they use infrared. I looked around but I couldn't find why infrared was used.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MESSENGER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-space_optical_communication

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    \$\begingroup\$ "have to use lasers because, well, the speed of light". What?? Radio waves also travel at the speed of light. I'm not an expert in antennas, but doubt very much you can get the sub-mrad divergence of lasers with radio antennas. You want a narrow beam to get a reasonable amount of power to the receiver. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 21 '12 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right. That was a stupid comment on my part. \$\endgroup\$ – embedded.kyle Jun 21 '12 at 13:39

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