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Communication by Means of Reflected Power

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1 Author(s)
Stockman, Harry ; Air Materiel Command, Cambridge Field Station, Cambridge 39, Mass.

Point-to-point communication, with the carrier power generated at the receiving end and the transmitter replaced by a modulated reflector, represents a transmission system which possesses new and different characteristics. Radio, light, or sound waves (essentially microwaves, infrared, and ultrasonic waves) may be used for the transmission under approximate conditions of specular reflection. The basic theory for reflected power communication is discussed with reference to conventional radar transmission, and the law of propagation is derived and compared with the propagation law for radar. A few different methods for the modulation of reflectors are described, and various laboratory and field test results discussed. A few of the civilian applications of the principle are reviewed. It is believed that the reflected-power communication method may yield one or more of the following characteristics: high directivity, automatic pin-pointing in spite of atmospheric bending, elimination of interference fading, simple voice-transmitter design without tubes and circuits and power supplies, increased security, and simplified means for identification and navigation.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 10 )