Portrayal of Technology in Prometheus

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Networked Communications

In the movie, there is minimal reference to the Internet as most of the movie takes place on an isolated research ship roughly 35 light years from the planet Earth. While the ship itself possesses no ability to send messages to Earth, it does possess the ability to broadcast signals for a local communication network. Each crew member, including David, is equipped with a helmet that provides audio and video feed to the ship that can be viewed in real time along with the wearer’s location relative to the ship. As in real life, these communication systems become noisier and less reliable with hostile environmental conditions such as dust storms containing charged particles.1 While this technology exists today, the communication system of the ship Prometheus shows a miniaturized version of a high bandwidth cell tower, enabling at least 15 simultaneous high-resolution video and audio transmissions.

Another major example of networked communication is the Parameter Uplink Spectrograph or PUPS for short. They are small flying orbs developed by the driving corporation in the Alien series, Wayland Corp. Each PUPS is equipped with a high powered laser intended to make a 3D model of its environment and detect life and toxins down to the 500 nanometers. This information is relayed to a special holographic viewing platform where the end user can safely explore the environment from the comforts of climate control.

One of the more realistic communication technologies is the inability to send messages and information to Earth. With modern communication systems, it is impossible to send messages over lightyears in a timely manner. The planet Prometheus is 35 lightyears from Earth and any messages sent would arrive

  1. Q. f. Dong, Y. L. Li, J. d. Xu, H. Zhang and M. j. Wang, “Effect of Sand and Dust Storms on Microwave Propagation,” in IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 910-916, Feb. 2013. doi: 10.1109/TAP.2012.2223446 http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6327602&isnumber=6423915