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Establishing standards for measuring the performance of radio receivers

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1 Author(s)
Nebeker, F. ; IEEE History Center, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ

Regularly scheduled radio broadcasting began in the United States in 1920, and just ten years later the majority of U.S. homes contained a radio. Radio engineering made great advances in this decade, particularly in the design of radio receivers. The engineering profession, notably the Institute of Radio Engineers, a predecessor society of the IEEE, made a vital contribution by devising and standardizing means of measuring the performance of radio receivers. The IRE standards, published in 1928, defined three fundamental properties of receivers-sensitivity, selectivity, and fidelity-and specified procedures for measuring them. These standards made it easier for engineers to design a system as a whole and to optimize overall performance while keeping the projected cost of a receiver at a particular level; they served the engineering community by making possible unambiguous communication; they were valuable to manufacturers for quality control; and they made it easier for purchasers to evaluate and compare radios.

Published in:

History of Telecommunications Conference, 2008. HISTELCON 2008. IEEE

Date of Conference:

11-12 Sept. 2008