Mickelson, Sig
October 1969
Foreign Affairs;Oct69, Vol. 48 Issue 1, p67
This article presents information on three satellites and the impact of such wireless communication systems on international relations in 1969. The communications satellite is relatively low-powered and its signal is beamed by its sending antenna so it will reach all land areas within its line of sight, thus making it possible for only three vehicles to provide service for the whole world. Earth stations are costly because they must greatly amplify signals both for sending to the satellite and for receiving. Distribution satellites are designed to cover considerably smaller areas. Power output would be somewhat greater and the antenna beam considerably narrower, thus concentrating more power in a smaller area, much as a magnifying glass will concentrate the sun's rays. The third of the satellites is the broadcast type, which has not yet been developed. Its purpose would be to put a television signal directly into a home receiver or a master antenna of a housing development or a low-cost receiving station for a small village. To be feasible, power levels would have to be much higher than for distribution satellites, otherwise, home receivers would be excessively bulky and expensive.


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