2

From launch to transmission: satellite communication theory and SNG

2.1 The birth of an idea

In October 1945, the then unknown (but now famous science fiction author) Arthur C. Clarke, who was at that time an RAF technical officer working on radar and a member of the British Interplanetary Society, wrote an article that was published in the British radio enthusiasts’ magazine Wireless World. In this article, he put forward an idea about how the coverage of television transmissions could be improved by using radio ‘relays’ situated above the ionosphere.1 Clarke had been working for some time on this concept, which was an astonishing proposal for the time and of such breathtaking prescience that, even now, as one reads the original article, ...

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