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Mobile Frame Hangar • View topic - Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?
Page 1 of 1

Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:48 pm
by mraichelson
So, coming up a bit from the discussion in the thread something did cross my mind. There's certainly a line of "whatever works best for your plot" that is a valid response, BUT...

I was wondering if there was any official ideas on how interstellar communication work and how fast a story from one colony might make it back to other colonies/news media outlets/etc. Having seen a couple different things in different settings (none of which need to dictate anything here, obviously), but they all lend a different direction and feel to things as part of the larger setting as a whole.

The real world style option: "It's bound by the speed of light and bandwidth is super narrow so anything broadcast back and forth will be laggy and minimal."

The Forever War style option (which is an extension of the real world option, really): "It's bound by the speed of light, but we shoot repeater drones (which can be really small/unmanned/etc.) through [space travel shortcut mechanism] at relativistic speeds which help cut down on the amount of lag in trying to transmit chunks of information (but it still may be significantly delayed reaching some places)."

The Ender-verse/Hyperion cantos style option: "The [magic internet/data/broadcast analogue] works instantly across any distance (but may have restrictions on access or bandwidth)."

In thinking about the concept of the transit gates and the safest travel option being a "coordinated on both ends" scenario, though, it seems like it would need to be something along the lines of the last option.

Re: Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:52 am
by spacemonkey
I don't remember if it's in the book or was just mentioned here on the forums but as data has negligible mass so it is broadcast freely/cheaply through the gate network. That said, given the way gates' transmit everything in instantaneous bursts, I doubt there are many streaming interstellar video conversations but definitely a working "email" system.

Re: Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:56 am
by Red_Robot

Re: Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:11 pm
by mraichelson

Re: Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:56 pm
by spacemonkey

Re: Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:51 pm
by Joshua A.C. Newman
Think of it as a mail drop instead of a network node.

Re: Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:29 pm
by FrostCollar
This reminds me of the Hyperpulse Generators from Battletech, actually. Burst comms are possible but communication is probably expensive, and if the large and expensive facility goes offline there's really not a good plan B for backup communication.

Re: Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:48 am
by eduty
Would this lead to a healthy economy of information courier services?

If you wanted to transmit something that gate personnel could not intercept, you would have to carry it yourself.

Re: Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:16 pm
by Joshua A.C. Newman
You bet it would.

Re: Interstellar/colony communication. How does it work?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:53 pm
by eduty
Might make a nice objective in an Alpha Bandit game.

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