With good filtering and a sensitive receiver/detector, probably can get decent results. They can reliably bounce a laser off the moon and back and detect that handful of photons that make it back to the detector after all.I wonder what distance they hope to reach. Even the most controlled beam will diverge over distance.
The moon is less than a quarter million miles away. They placed reflectors that only get a photon or maybe a few back at that less than half a million mile distance. For far space travel radio waves are a better option.With good filtering and a sensitive receiver/detector, probably can get decent results. They can reliably bounce a laser off the moon and back and detect that handful of photons that make it back to the detector after all.
A laser behaves like a point source of light, so its intensity will decrease according to the inverse square law (ignoring scattering, diffraction, absorption, etc.) just like radio waves will. At these astronomical distances, I think it's fair to also treat a radio transmitter as a point source. So with regard to the proportional decrease in intensity as distance increases, there is no difference.Well apparently it works since they got 14 million miles. Remember radio waves spread out too. Lasers spread slower.and from what I understand they can make the communication so only people in like a mile on the ground can receive the signal for security. They also encode the signal so they have amazing error correction. If you take say a high quality opsl and put that through say a 200:1 beam expander that beam could be sub microradian so the divergence could be extremely low. With proper coding you don’t need a lot of signal to receive it.