Portal:Telecommunication

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The Telecommunication Portal

Earth station at the satellite communication facility in Raisting, Bavaria, Germany

Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire, radio, optical, or other electromagnetic systems. It has its origin in the desire of humans for communication over a distance greater than that feasible with the human voice, but with a similar scale of expediency; thus, slow systems (such as postal mail) are excluded from the field.

The transmission media in telecommunication have evolved through numerous stages of technology, from beacons and other visual signals (such as smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs), to electrical cable and electromagnetic radiation, including light. Such transmission paths are often divided into communication channels, which afford the advantages of multiplexing multiple concurrent communication sessions. Telecommunication is often used in its plural form.

Other examples of pre-modern long-distance communication included audio messages, such as coded drumbeats, lung-blown horns, and loud whistles. 20th- and 21st-century technologies for long-distance communication usually involve electrical and electromagnetic technologies, such as telegraph, telephone, television and teleprinter, networks, radio, microwave transmission, optical fiber, and communications satellites.

A revolution in wireless communication began in the first decade of the 20th century with the pioneering developments in radio communications by Guglielmo Marconi, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909, and other notable pioneering inventors and developers in the field of electrical and electronic telecommunications. These included Charles Wheatstone and Samuel Morse (inventors of the telegraph), Antonio Meucci and Alexander Graham Bell (some of the inventors and developers of the telephone, see Invention of the telephone), Edwin Armstrong and Lee de Forest (inventors of radio), as well as Vladimir K. Zworykin, John Logie Baird and Philo Farnsworth (some of the inventors of television).

According to Article 1.3 of the Radio Regulations (RR), telecommunication is defined as « Any transmission, emission or reception of signs, signals, writings, images and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical, or other electromagnetic systems.» This definition is identical to those contained in the Annex to the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union (Geneva, 1992).

The early telecommunication networks were created with copper wires as the physical medium for signal transmission. For many years, these networks were used for basic phone services, namely voice and telegrams. Since the mid-1990s, as the internet has grown in popularity, voice has been gradually supplanted by data. This soon demonstrated the limitations of copper in data transmission, prompting the development of optics. (Full article...)

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The atmospheric attenuation of microwaves in dry air with a precipitable water vapor level of 0.001 mm. The downward spikes in the graph corresponds to frequencies at which microwaves are absorbed more strongly, such as by oxygen molecules.

Microwave transmission is the transmission of information by electromagnetic waves with wavelengths in the microwave frequency range of 300MHz to 300GHz(1 m - 1 mm wavelength) of the electromagnetic spectrum. Microwave signals are normally limited to the line of sight, so long-distance transmission using these signals requires a series of repeaters forming a microwave relay network. It is possible to use microwave signals in over-the-horizon communications using tropospheric scatter, but such systems are expensive and generally used only in specialist roles.

Although an experimental 40-mile (64 km) microwave telecommunication link across the English Channel was demonstrated in 1931, the development of radar in World War II provided the technology for practical exploitation of microwave communication. During the war, the British Army introduced the Wireless Set No. 10, which used microwave relays to multiplex eight telephone channels over long distances. A link across the English Channel allowed General Bernard Montgomery to remain in continual contact with his group headquarters in London. (Full article...)
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Paul-nipkow.jpg
Nipkow in about 1884

Paul Julius Gottlieb Nipkow (22 August 1860 – 24 August 1940) was a German technician and inventor. He invented the Nipkow disk, which laid the foundation of television, since his disk was a fundamental component in the first televisions. Hundreds of stations experimented with television broadcasting using his disk in the 1920s and 1930s, until it was superseded by all-electronic systems in the 1940s.

Nipkow has been called the "father of television", together with other early figures of television history like Karl Ferdinand Braun. (Full article...)

Did you know (auto-generated) - load new batch

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  • ... that the Federal Radio Commission revoked the license of Chicago radio station WCHI in 1931 for attacking medical procedures such as surgical operations and vaccinations?
  • ... that Svalbard Minute by Minute, a 221-hour-long television broadcast, is credited with increasing tourism in Svalbard by 25 percent?
  • ... that radio station WADK debuted its first talk show after a local businessman told the owner that "the great pastime of Rhode Island ... is talking politics"?
  • ... that Vermont radio station WFAD was ordered to shut down just two weeks after it launched?
  • ... that when Louisville, Kentucky's WKYW radio became religious station WFIA in 1965, it ceased accepting beer, wine and tobacco commercials?
  • ... that an episode of the children's TV show Arthur featuring a same-sex wedding was not aired on Alabama's PBS network?

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