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Transoceanic Communication by Means of Satellites

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2 Author(s)
Pierce, J.R. ; Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc., Murray Hill, N.J. ; Kompfner, R.

The existence of artificial earth satellites and of very low-noise maser amplifiers makes microwave links using spherical satellites as passive reflectors seem an interesting alternative to cable or tropospheric scatter for broad-band transatlantic communication. A satellite in a polar orbit at a height of 3000 miles would be mutually visible from Newfoundland and the Hebrides for 22.0 per cent of the time and would be over 7.25° above the horizon at each point for 17.7 per cent of the time. Out of 24 such satellites, some would be mutually visible over 7.25° above the horizon 99 per cent of the time. With 100-foot diameter spheres, 150-foot diameter antennas, and a noise temperature of 20°K, 85 kw at 2000 mc or 9.5 kw at 6000 mc, could provide a 5-mc base band with a 40-db signal-to-noise ratio. The same system of satellites could be used to provide further communication at other frequencies or over other paths

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 3 )