Physics & Astronomy Lecture Series: Dr. Stephan Wielandy

Date, time, location

Monday, March 18, 2024
4:35 pm to 5:30 pm EDT

Wright Laboratory of Physics, W201

110 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH 44074

Get Directions

Additional details

Free and open to the public

“Using your physics degree for interplanetary laser communications”

On October 13, 2023, NASA launched a spacecraft bound for the asteroid Psyche which is carrying the first-ever laser communications payload designed to communicate over interplanetary distances.  “First light” was demonstrated on November 14, and the Deep Space Optical Communications (DSOC) payload is continuing to transmit data to the earth as it makes the journey to Psyche.  It is currently more than 74 million miles from the earth and has already surpassed previous lasercom distance records by more than two orders of magnitude.  The laser transmitter for DSOC was built by the group that I am a part of, and in this talk I will describe some of my personal favorite aspects of the physics, technology, and engineering that went into that laser to make interplanetary laser communications possible, and I will use those topics as a platform to describe what it is like to work in industry on applied science, and how a degree in physics prepares you for a career like that.

You may also like…