Instead of using arrays of radio-receiving stations now dotted around the globe, laser-based communication systems would rely on telescopes to receive the laser signals. Such stations could be sited in the high mountains of Chile or on Mauna Kea in Hawaii or in the mountains of the American desert southwest.

The scientists estimate that installing three such receiving stations around the globe would cost $200 million, with the research and development of the laser system costing another $200 million.