By 2030, the first digital horizon system will be on the horizon, says James A. Schlesinger, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Southern California.
In a press conference held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, last week, Schlesingers, who is the co-director of the Center for Computer Simulation and Simulation Analysis, said the system will make a first pass at tracking and mapping the trajectory of light, such as when it hits a star.
“It’s not going to be the most accurate, but it’s going to have a lot of the accuracy you need to do real-time, real-space navigation,” Schlesings said.
“There are a lot more things you need in a digital horizon than just one system.”
The system’s technology is based on a process known as multilayer optical photonics, which has been around for a few decades.
The process uses layers of optical fibers to form light-detecting antennas.
It has been tested in the lab before, but Schlesers said it was a leap forward in terms of processing power.
“The number of light sensors in the system, the number of optical antennas, all these things are much more sophisticated than we have now,” he said.
He said that the system could help solve some of the biggest mysteries about the universe, such the origin of the universe and the fate of our galaxy.
“We’re still trying to figure out what it is, but we think it’s a little bit like an optical fiber,” Schinesinger said.
But for now, the system is just a prototype.
For a more detailed description of the system and its capabilities, see our previous story.