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Is it really obvious that modulating the pumping diode won't work? It's not obvious to me. You say that the fluorescence lifetime of Nd:YAG is slow, but you are thinking of the lifetime when there is no stimulated emission. If there is stimulated emission, excited atoms can be de-excited very very quickly. Think a little harder about laser dynamics, ...


It's not so much about "penetrating magnetic fields" as it is about seeing the signal above background noise (assuming your transmission is above the background plasma frequency). The intensity of any given signal drops off as $\propto$ r$^{-2}$. This means that a signal sent from r = 1 will be 16 times as strong as a signal from r = 4. All receiving dish ...

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