space swarms

Usual selection of recent technology stories I’ve had a hand in:

Space telescopes are huge, heavy, and vastly expensive, so a fairly radical alternative idea is emerging from the blue-skies end of JPL’s project portfolio: Orbiting Rainbows, a swarm of micron-sized reflective particles in Earth orbit, shaped into a working optical mirror by lasers. Fair to say it won’t be launching tomorrow, but quite a concept.

Established biomedical techniques don’t make the jump into consumer goods very often, but OCT might be about to arrive in smart-phones, tablets, and anything that tries to verify your fingerprint.

One problem with laser brain surgery: skulls are not transparent. Solution: do something about that.