The Telecommunication Portal

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

Telecommunication, often used in its plural form or abbreviated as telecom, is the transmission of information with an immediacy comparable to face-to-face communication. As such, slow communications technologies like postal mail and pneumatic tubes are excluded from the definition. Many transmission media have been used for telecommunications throughout history, from smoke signals, beacons, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs to wires and empty space made to carry electromagnetic signals. These paths of transmission may be divided into communication channels for multiplexing, allowing for a single medium to transmit several concurrent communication sessions. Several methods of long-distance communication before the modern era used sounds like coded drumbeats, the blowing of horns, and whistles. Long-distance technologies invented during the 20th and 21st centuries generally use electric power, and include the telegraph, telephone, television, and radio.

Early telecommunication networks used metal wires as the medium for transmitting signals. These networks were used for telegraphy and telephony for many decades. In the first decade of the 20th century, a revolution in wireless communication began with breakthroughs including those made in radio communications by Guglielmo Marconi, who won the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics. Other early pioneers in electrical and electronic telecommunications include co-inventors of the telegraph Charles Wheatstone and Samuel Morse, numerous inventors and developers of the telephone including Antonio Meucci and Alexander Graham Bell, inventors of radio Edwin Armstrong and Lee de Forest, as well as inventors of television like Vladimir K. Zworykin, John Logie Baird and Philo Farnsworth.

Since the 1960s, the proliferation of digital technologies has meant that voice communications have gradually been supplemented by data. The physical limitations of metallic media prompted the development of optical fibre. The Internet, a technology independent of any given medium, has provided global access to services for individual users and further reduced location and time limitations on communications. (Full article...)

Group Captain "Paddy" Green achieved most of his 11 confirmed kills in this Mk. IV-equipped Beaufighter.

Radar, Airborne Interception, Mark IV (AI Mk. IV), produced by USA as SCR-540, was the world's first operational air-to-air radar system. Early Mk. III units appeared in July 1940 on converted Bristol Blenheim light bombers, while the definitive Mk. IV reached widespread availability on the Bristol Beaufighter heavy fighter by early 1941. On the Beaufighter, the Mk. IV arguably played a role in ending the Blitz, the Luftwaffe's night bombing campaign of late 1940 and early 1941.

Early development was prompted by a 1936 memo from Henry Tizard on the topic of night fighting. The memo was sent to Robert Watt, director of the radar research efforts, who agreed to allow physicist Edward George "Taffy" Bowen to form a team to study the problem of air interception. The team had a test bed system in flights later that year, but progress was delayed for four years by emergency relocations, three abandoned production designs, and Bowen's increasingly adversarial relationship with Watt's replacement, Albert Percival Rowe. Ultimately, Bowen was forced from the team just as the system was finally maturing. (Full article...)
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Marconi in 1909

Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi FRSA GCVO (Italian: [ɡuʎˈʎɛlmo marˈkoːni]; 25 April 1874 – 20 July 1937) was an Italian inventor, electrical engineer, and politician, known for his creation of a practical radio wave–based wireless telegraph system. This led to Marconi's being credited as the inventor of radio, and he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun "in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy". His work laid the foundation for the development of radio, television, and all modern wireless communication systems.

Marconi was also an entrepreneur, businessman, and founder of The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company in the United Kingdom in 1897 (which became the Marconi Company). In 1929, Marconi was ennobled as a Marchese (marquis) by King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, and, in 1931, he set up Vatican Radio for Pope Pius XI. (Full article...)

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