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Thread: Detecting distant objects

  1. #1
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    Default Detecting distant objects



    Hello!

    I was listening to a YouTube video talking about when we will no longer be able to communicate with Voyager 1. He said it depends on the sensitivity of the instruments receiving the signals. He said in theory, there is no limit to the signals we can detect.

    That got me thinking. What if we reach a limit to the technology we are able to create to receive these signals? And is it plausible to launch probes one after the other to create a kind of chain, each of these probes serving as nodes? So whenever the one node would be too far, the second node would close that gap. And so on. Will this system amplify our ability to receive information? Giving us more detailed information about these distant objects.

    This would probably be a multi-generational project. Not sure if planning THAT far out using current technology is even worth an investment.

    Thoughts?

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    Default Re: Detecting distant objects

    No, because you have no suitable power source. The Voyageur spacecraft use an RTG, which is the most long-lasting source that is light enough to launch. They have done well to last more than 40 years, but they are running down. The spacecraft can no longer operate all instruments. In order to conserve power, everything is shut down except for a couple of sensors, the computer and the transmitter.

    To get anywhere useful, you are talking about spacecraft that will have to last for thousands or millions of years. There is no fuel source that can power anything that long. The Voyageurs are already too far from the sun for solar panels to work, and have been since they passed Jupiter, decades ago. There aren't enough photons in starlight to power anything.

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    Default Re: Detecting distant objects

    Here us an interesting paper on these RTG fuel sources Kathy.

    An Overview of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators
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