UV For Communications In Space
‘A system for using ultra-violet frequencies for communication beyond the atmosphere is being developed by Westinghouse Electric Corp.’
So, 50 years ago, starts a story in Electronics Weekly’s edition of January 4th 1961.
The story continues:
‘In announcing these engineering studies, Westinghouse said that television signals have been sent experimentally using ultra-violet carriers. The experimental system is called Ultracom.’
‘Obviously, a system based on ultra-violet would be impractical for communication between a ground station and space vehicles because of ionospheric absorption.’
‘But for communicating between stations in space, Ultracom should extend the range of present communications by as much as 50 times, according to Dr Patrick Conley, manager of Westinghouse’s Air Arm Division.
‘In practice, Dr Conley envisages a system of orbiting relay stations. These would transmit and receive longer wave signals to and from the ground, and would communicate with space vehicles using ultra-violet frequencies.’
‘In addition, to extending enormously the range of a given amount of transmitter power, Dr Conley said: “It is estimated that the collection area of the receiving antenna would be reduced by a factor of 5000:1 using ultra-violet.”