Shake it off: taking the twinkle out of a laser beam

We steered a laser beam through atmospheric turbulence to show how this technology could benefit fundamental science and spacecraft communications. Light can carry a lot more information than radio waves can. The bandwidth (data rate) of a transmission is limited by the frequency of that transmission. This is the main difference between 4G and 5G … Continue reading Shake it off: taking the twinkle out of a laser beam

Can Quantum Communications be Jammed?

Quantum key distribution offers a way to transmit data with security guaranteed by the laws of physics themselves. While these communications cannot be hacked, my colleagues and I found that they can be jammed. The security of our modern communications systems, from emails to banking, from militaries to private individuals, rely on the immense difficulty … Continue reading Can Quantum Communications be Jammed?

Fast steering optical phased array: how to trick a control system

Optical phased arrays are a way to construct a really powerful laser beam, and steer it precisely without mirrors or lenses. Making an optical phased array that can steer millions of times per second would be a huge boon to systems like LIDAR for autonomous cars. But to make something move that fast, you need … Continue reading Fast steering optical phased array: how to trick a control system

Getting in Sync with the SKA

With thousands of radio dishes spread over thousands of kilometres, the Square Kilometre Array will be the largest and most powerful radio telescope in the world and able to explore the deepest regions of the cosmos. But only if these thousands of radio dishes, some hundreds of kilometres apart, can be synchronized to within a … Continue reading Getting in Sync with the SKA

Between a clock and outer space

We used a telescope and a high-precision laser system to beam an atomic clock signal through thin air. While we only sent the signal between buildings, this is the first step in developing a system able to beam these signals to satellites in orbit, with the ultimate aim of pushing our theories of the universe … Continue reading Between a clock and outer space

Rock Star Engineers

2018 has been declared the Year of Engineering in the UK and this week is National Engineers Week in the U.S. (Australian Engineering Week is coming in August.) Around the world engineers and educators will be using these events to bring the important contributions that engineers make to our society to public attention, and encourage … Continue reading Rock Star Engineers

Great Australians — Lawrence Hargrave

We Australians excel at remembering and celebrating our sporting heroes, from cricketers to particularly successful race horses, but are not so good at celebrating the great people who helped build our civilization, particularly when those builders are Australian. Today, I want to celebrate the birthday of an Australian aviation pioneer, Lawrence Hargrave. Aviation Pioneer Lawrence … Continue reading Great Australians — Lawrence Hargrave

Radio Telescope on Track

This post was originally published by Australia's Science Channel on 29th July 2016 but was removed when the website was updated. David Gozzard is a PhD student who has found himself on an interesting journey to remote Australia. In this blog, he shares some of the fun work he's been up to! When I started my PhD in … Continue reading Radio Telescope on Track