Duowave Pulses are a subluminal communications technology that is common in the Bottlenose Nebula, but is usually discouraged, condemned, or outlawed in other parts of the galaxy.
The relationship between the electrical length of an antenna and the wavelength it can transmit and receive at poses major problems for wireless nanotechnology. Conventional wireless needs to operate in the ultraviolet or higher bands to be using a wavelength that nanoscale antennas can pick up, which presents a number of problems in terms of interference, waste heat, and signal propagation transparency.
Duowave Pulses are an alternative technique that allow nanoscale technology to communicate on lower-energy channels. By combining multiple bands on a virtual axis and then projecting it back into realspace, nanites can send or receive signals on theoretically any frequency, even over interstellar distances.
One side-effect of the waves constructed by the Duowave Pulse technique is that the waves are slightly more sawtoothed than normal analogue transmissions waves. This has to do with quantum stepping effects being amplified by the projection process, but the resulting waveform is still almost universally accepted by all equipment designed to operate at the resultant frequencies.
For the wave’s raggedness to have any effect at all, it would need to encounter a gargantuan EM field operating at similar wavelengths to the nanoscale waves used in constructing the waveform. Even the most rapidly spinning high-metallicity stars wouldn’t come close to being an issue. Unfortunately, fast-spinning neutron stars (or pulsars) do have the properties to be an issue.
The practical upshot is that any Duowave-generated Signal that reaches a pulsar above a certain signal strength gets massively distorted and even more massively repeated throughout the local galaxy in very broad EM pulse. The resultant pulse is capable of rendering most EM-based technology within a lightyear disabled if not destroyed, and it can raise background interference in the radio and microwave bands to the point of unusability for months out to a distance of hundreds of lightyears in some cases.
Because planetary and even some interplanetary networks typically use STL EM networks rather than FTL networks for cost reasons throughout the galaxy, Duowave Pulses are considered a weapons system more than a means of communications in most parts of the galaxy. They are relevant to our conversations because a number of civilizations in the Bottlenose Nebula have used them, most notably the Transition Protectorate and the Whoolak Enclave. The nearest pulsar to the Bottlenose Nebula is some 730 lightyears away, well beyond the range of any potential interaction. Some have theorized that the Duowave Catastrophe might have impacted the development of a number of subluminal civilizations in the Bottlenose Nebula when it reached there.