A message sent in this manner would have a data rate of a few hundred bits per second and could arrive at the distant planet in a few years. One of the researchers on the project says that most of the tech to do this exists now, and what doesn’t exist could be developed in the near term.
Potential issues with this plan include that despite that the IR beam is invisible, it would damage people’s vision if they looked directly at the beam. This beam would have a flux density of about 800 watts per square meter, close to the sun’s 1300 watts per square meter flux density. A safer location than Earth would be on the far side of the moon.
Any distant astronomer looking at our section of the galaxy would also have to look directly at the laser to see the beam making detection of the beacon highly unlikely, admits researchers.