Gravitational waves are “disturbances” of a sort caused by events such as the collision of black holes, generating a force felt across space. LIGO recently found evidence that they exist, proving Einstein’s theory correct decades after its conception. Scientists believe gravitational waves could be useful for communication purposes because most of our communication right now is via “line-of-sight,” where we send waves out across the land that reach devices but can be stopped by large land masses. Gravitational waves are actually unaffected by the earth’s mass, providing an interesting application in ground-based communication. Developing this “LIGO” technology is the start of one of the article’s phases in testing out gravitational radiation (GR) communication. In order for GR to work, there has to be a transmitter and a receiver. Once the technology has been created and tested, if all goes well, it will integrate first with high priority communications and trickle down into commercial. However, implementing communication via GR comes with ethical concerns. As noted in the Landsat article, NASA has used satellite imagery for approximately 40 years, documenting how the world has changed. People had already used Landsat for national and economic gain; who’s to say they won’t do the same with GR tech? If implemented, people could turn off normal communication and monopolize GR communication, charging insane prices for it.
I would think that if there’s any way to have both, that would be perfect. It’s always good to have backup systems just in case, and while prices can be put on using GR communication, it can be competitive because the more people use it, the easier it is to keep costs low eventually. I hope this is making sense? Anyway, I think it would be interesting, but I’m worried about the economic consequences GR tech has for society.