I keep increasing my frequencies and want to get up the spectrum more and more. My current project is pointing a powerful focused LED from a peak and I will try to pick it up with a telescope and some sort of photo detector to receive the AM light.

I keep wondering about even higher frequencies. I am assuming Ultra violet should not be too much more difficult than Light unless the air absorbs that band.

So, going higher, could x-rays be used to communicate, maybe just CW or is it not possible at all and x-rays will not propagate.

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    $\begingroup$ PWM modulate the transmitting LED. Slow detector response will detect it as an AM signal. As a side note, many LED's respond to their own frequencies, and so can be used for both transmit and receive. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 1:13
  • $\begingroup$ I'm really not sure this is the right stack; more of a physics/electronics stack type of question $\endgroup$
    – VU2NHW
    Commented Nov 23, 2014 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


If you can control its emissions, and detect it, then you can use it for communications. X-rays are no exception.

However there are many reasons they are not widely used, including expensive and limited optics, short distance line of sight outside a vacuum, and not as safe as many other forms of communications.

Still X-rays have some uses and there are X-ray communication systems in development. They can be used over vast distances in space with relatively low power, can communicate with spacecraft during re-entry when traditional communications are disrupted due to electron activity in the heat of re-entry, and can penetrate some types of RF shielding, which has some interesting use cases.

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    $\begingroup$ Not to mention required compliance with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), Chapter V, Subchapter C - Electronic Product Radiation Control. $\endgroup$
    – K7AAY
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ X-ray transmitters can also be used to implement an IP over demographics network. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 12:02

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