Skip to Main Content
In the last two years two important anniversaries of radio communications have been celebrated. The first was in December 2001 commemorating the 100th. anniversary of Marconi's transatlantic transmission. The second in 2002 was the 40th. anniversary of transatlantic satellite communication via Telstar. With respect to HF telecommunications the first event was a beginning whereas the latter was considered to have sounded its death knell. Just as in 1901, when bridging the Atlantic ocean was seen as the goal for the fledgling technology this expanse of water has remained a bench mark throughout the 20th. century for the development of long distance communication systems, whether by cable, by direct radio, or via satellite. As we took to the future of HF radio systems and techniques it is well to consider the technical achievements, in radio telecommunications, that were made during the almost forgotten 61 years of the last century. It should be noted that the development of international telecommunications, of which HF radio has played a major part during the period under consideration, has been driven by commerce and global politics. This paper, however, is concerned mainly with the technical aspects of HF radio telecommunications.