In a galaxy far, far away technologies that were ahead of its time inspired kids to become scientists or engineers in order to create the amazing gadgets they watched in such movies. Some of the devices already exist, others are being developed and, though in varying degrees, optical fiber has played a role on their creation.
You know we all dreamed of having an imagecaster or assisting to a Jedi Council meeting appearing as a hologram. Lucky for us, scientists have been trying to develop this technology and they have succeeded at it in different degrees.
Nowadays, optical fiber is the method of choice for data transmission because it doesn’t compromise video or audio. So we are pretty sure when that technology is available for everybody, it is going to rely on optical fiber to work as we think it did on Star Wars.
Although the Millennium Falcon didn’t have a great look, it was everyone’s favorite starship. And it’s probable that optical fiber was an important component of “the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy” and other ships such as the Starfighters or even the Death Star.
NASA already developed a Fiber Optic Sensing System (FOSS) that monitors critical parameters in real time such as strain, temperature, shape deformation or liquid level in aerospace and other environments. Therefore, it isn’t that crazy to think that Millennium Falcon’s circular sensor dish worked with optical fiber.
Let’s be honest and agree that R2-D2 and C3-PO were the space opera series real heroes. Beside the many tools that made him useful for repairing starships, slicing computers or extinguishing fire, our friendly astromech robot had sensors that helped him receive data about the environment and those sensors could have worked with optical fibers.
C3-PO liked to brag about how he was fluent in more than six million communication forms and, yes he was really good at it. But where was all that data stored and how could he have such a quick access? We’re guessing there had to be data centers hidden somewhere in the galaxy.
Optical fiber is commonly used in industrial facilities for automation applications as a reliable networking provider or a sensor in extreme environments. So it could be said that Kamino Cloning Facility relied on optical fiber to create the Clone Army. And also, how did they stored all the clones data? There must have been data centers in “our missing planet” too.
Beating an Imperial Walker is not impossible but it’s extremely hard because of its long reach laser cannons. Laser weapons have fascinated weapon developers over the years and they are not that far, far away.
Back in 1980’s US Army spent around 2.4 billion $ on a laser weapon research that was nicknamed the Star Wars Initiative. Nowadays researchers in the US found a way to increase their effective range and destructive power by turning air into an “optical fiber” that works as a waveguide and allows better transmissions of lasers through free space. Though not the optical fiber we are used to, AT-AT laser cannons could have worked with it.
Have you think about other Star Wars technologies that could have worked with optical fiber? We’d like to know your theories. Comment below!