Could Bluetooth chips talk to the stars?

November 1, 2005 | Source: news@nature.com

Keeping in touch with far-flung space probes could become much cheaper and easier if space agencies used arrays of millions of tiny antennas based on existing wireless technology.

About 100 antennas could be printed on a standard circuit board and controlled by a computer chip.

Although each antenna would churn out a mere 10 milliwatts of power, 50 million of them could be united to achieve twice the power of the large transmitter dish at Arecibo in Puerto Rico.