SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS - AN OVERVIEW
The outer space has always fascinated people on the earth and communication through space evolved as an offshoot of ideas for space travel. The earliest idea of using artificial satellites for communications is found in a science fiction Brick Moon by Edward Evert Hale, published in 1869-70. While the early fictional accounts of satellite and space communications bear little resemblance to the technology as it exists to day, they are of significance since they represent the origins of the idea from which the technology eventually evolved. In the area of satellite communications, the technology has been responsive to the imaginative dreams. Hence it is also expected that technological innovations will lead the evolution of satellite communications towards the visions of today.
CONCEPT OF SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS
Scientists from different countries conceived various ideas for communications through space along with the technological breakthroughs in different fields of science. The Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) was the first person to study space travel as a science and in 1879 formulated his Rocket Equation, which is still used in the design of modern rockets. He also wrote the first theoretical description of a man- made satellite and noted the existence of a geosynchronous orbit. But he did not identify any practical applications of geosynchronous orbit. The noted German Scientist and rocket expert, Hermann Oberth, in 1923 proposed that the crews of orbiting rockets could communicate with remote regions on earth by signaling with mirrors. In 1928, Austrian Scientist Hermann Noordung suggested that the geostationary orbit might be a good location for manned space vehicle. Russian Scientists in 1937 suggested that television images could be relayed by bouncing them off the space vehicles. During 1942-1943, a series of articles by George O