Lasers can carry much more data, and make higher-precision measurements, than radio waves can. This makes lasers extremely useful for science and communications, particularly with satellites. However, atmospheric turbulence causes the laser beams to twinkle like a star, ruining the fidelity of the data or measurement.
Dr David Gozzard takes technologies developed for astronomy and adapts them for use in laser links with satellites. These technologies include adaptive optics, which undoes the twinkling caused by atmospheric turbulence, and high-precision time transfer systems Dr Gozzard previously developed for the Square Kilometre Array. Together, these technologies will create stable laser links to satellites through the turbulent air and revolutionize science and communication with satellites.