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1 Author(s)
Wu, W.W. ; Consultare Technol., Bethesda, MD, USA

This paper provides an introduction to the classic paper “Transoceanic Communication by Means of Satellites,” which was written by J.R. Pierce and R. Kompfner and appeared in the March 1959 issue of the Proceedings of the IRE. This paper also provides a periscopic view of satellite communications development since then. Surprisingly, in some aspect, the fundamental ideas have not changed much after 40 years. Conceptually, most technical development falls within these ideas. Practically, however, technological advances and significant progress has been made in all areas of space segment, ground segment, and launch vehicles. Today, due to its impact and usefulness, satellite communications is no longer the domain of the technologists alone. Instead, it has created industries, established relevant institutions, coordinated regulations and standards, provided employment, and financially benefitted many persons. This paper addresses these issues, which have been indirectly created by the scientists and engineers who developed satellite communications

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:85 ,  Issue: 6 )