Dimensions of a new age; Advances in communications systems
This is dimension. From the Radio-TV University. School. We are all of us newly arrived in the age of space and we have come so quickly swirling about us are powerful influences likely to have upon our lives the most prodigiously impact known to mankind in the last 500 years. Yet we can barely grasp the magnitude of these social forces. We can only guess at their meaning. What does it signify for us to live in a world of such a suddenly extended proportions. Toward the answer radio television the University of Texas has prepared this recorded radio series produced under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational
broadcasters. We present dimensions of the new age. And now here is our moderator Roderick Meyer. In the age of space communications may very well be the keystone. Besides transmitting and interpret ing the advances in all other fields of activity the field of communications anticipates a spectacular future in its own right. On our program today we have asked three specialists the director of communications engineering a vice president of communications systems and a forward looking social scientist to talk to us about world communications in the space age. Here first from the RCA laboratories the David Sarnoff Research Center Princeton New Jersey is Mr. Edmund port director of communications engineering for the Radio Corporation of America. I have been asked to give you some realistic glimpses of what is ahead in the field of telecommunications. As you may know telecommunication
is today a prominent part of the electronics industry and was indeed the original electronic industry. Electrical communication services started with Morse's Telegraph in 1844 Bell's telephone services starting in 1878 gave a new dimension to telecommunications by conveying human speech over a distance radio transmission dates from 1898 but is actually a technology of the 20th century. Its scope was expanded to sound broadcasting in 1920 and the television broadcasting in 1935. You know how broadcasting and television have grown in these very recent years. Telecommunications have become a basic necessity in modern life everywhere and at all economic levels. This has happened in a
period of barely more than a century. Actually the last half century embraces the era of spectacular growth of telecommunications on a worldwide basis. Like all commonplace miracles it has entered into our lives in such a natural and matter of fact way that it hardly excites more than brief attention. Most of the real marvels that make such services possible. I behind the scenes where a few can see and even understand what happens or how it is done. These Out of sight facilities are the means that make possible all of the familiar and many unfamiliar communication services between people individually and in groups of millions as in the case of broadcasting radio wires and cables are the veritable nerve fibers of modern society carrying the signals that control stimulate and coordinate the body social.
The importance of this function is far beyond what can be envisioned by the most fertile imagination. The magnitude of our existing telecommunication facilities and capabilities defies any effective description one can cite a lot of cold numbers to give an idea of where we stand today. But the very magnitude of these numbers leaves one with only a vague impression. Nevertheless I shall try to tell you what we can expect in the next 20 years. A good example is the public telephone industry. There are about one hundred and fifty million publicly connected telephones in active use in the world today. If the growth rate of the last 20 years continues there will be about eight hundred and fifty million telephones in use by 1980. Other communications services by the bay side to laugh and he generally follow this same growth
pattern but really try as I may it is virtually impossible to describe in any meaningful way the present actual status of telecommunication facilities in general or in particular or to convey briefly the state of the art. One does not have to have the gift of prophecy to foresee the advances that can be anticipated within the next 20 years because seeds for this future growth have already sprouted in the laboratories and in limited trial usage. In the next 20 years we can expect to evolve about as follows. The total world telecommunication capacity for long distance transmission of voice machine data television tele printing and telephoto should increase six to ten fold by 1980. There is a possibility that communication traffic between electronic data processing machines will be a substantial fraction of the volume of ordinary
telephone traffic. The day of the computer for handling clerical functions is here now but its growth will certainly be spectacular from now on. Machines will have to be interconnected over vast distances just as individual telephones now are both civilian and military usage are involved in this growth long distance interconnections between clothes television systems is clearly a head for business and government where immediate exchange of visual information is needed. Similar transformation for non broadcast semi mass communication is growing rapidly already. The teleprinter is the modern telegraphic device and teleprinter traffic already enormous. Well expand at about the rate mentioned preceding far to less money nationally and internationally. The transmittal of authoritative written record is a basic necessity
role that will continue to be felt by telegraphy direct office to office two way teleprinter communications services will continue in rapid growth including international into connections. By 1980 radio in the form known as beamed microwave relaying will be carrying a very large portion of all overland traffic already this is a very important technique for to lie funny telegraphy and data transmission. Also for television the need for continued growth of mass one way information and entertainment transmission will continue to expand the radius of non-toll telephone dialing is being extended gradually now and will be much expanded in the future as a cost of transmission circuits is lowered by technological advances. It is foreseeable that a long distance dialing based on a comprehensive fixed rate
basis may become the practice when circuit time costs are less than the prorated capital and operations accounting cost for billing individual calls. The missile and earth satellite age contribute to telecommunications by providing means for relaying signals of a Continental and Intercontinental distances satellite borne repeaters have potentially very large communication capacity and even whole promise of being economically attractive. These are a few of the foreseeable results of present experience. There will be unforeseen ideas for means and services that certainly will appear before 1980. Some of these well affect home usage and the services that influence daily habits. It is estimated that over 90 percent of all the scientists that ever existed are alive and working today. The electronics industry in this country
now ranks third among the major basic industries and idea of the growth in numbers of people working in electronics here is seen in the fact that the membership of the Institute of radio engineers has grown from twenty nine thousand nine hundred fifty to seventy two thousand at the end of 1959 to become the world's largest professional technical society. This is a two and a half for growth and only nine years indicating the swift and continual rise in the population of scientists and engineers who are conceiving developing and building the new communication systems that will be serving us tomorrow. The era in which we are living has been given many names. The atomic age the jet age the space age our electronic communications have been with us longer than these new technologies but we are nevertheless clearly living also in a dynamic age of telecommunications.
You have just heard Mr. Edmund a look port director of communications engineering for the Radio Corporation of America discussing some of the more down to earth aspects of communication in the space age to extend our insights worldwide and space far into the realm of the communications satellites. Here is Mr. Armagh vice president of communications systems International Telephone and Telegraph laboratories Nutley New Jersey. I should like to start by discussing a few characteristics of the modern world wide communication systems. First a world wide communication system is a vastly complicated affair. A single communication chain may include a network of Florida lines cables switching equipment dozens of microwave links extremely high powered radio transmitters giant antennas and unbelievably sensitive receivers. Not to say anything about the huge
computers used to keep the accounting straight. Second a world wide communication system necessarily requires organization cooperation and standardization not only at the two ends but also at intermediate points in the chain. In so far as this is international communication it necessarily requires international cooperation and agreements on many matters specifically such technical items as type of modulation bandwidths signal levels and most particularly on the specific radio frequencies used. The latter is extremely important because a usable later radio spectrum is limited. And as one of the most valuable natural resources of the world must be conserved and used properly to avoid serious interference and possible chaos. The important thing I'd like to stress over and over is that there must be cooperation or there cannot be communication. Third point a completely reliable world
wild world wide communication system is entirely feasible technically but not necessarily economically. It is not possible with substantially complete reliability to transmit voice data teletype facsimile and television over thousands of miles. Although Trans Ocean live television the still not practical at the present time. Force to demand for reliable communication has nearly always exceeded its supply in this space age what with population growth increased industrialization advent of automation and the impact of Cold War the need for reliable worldwide communication far exceeds available capability. What has been the obstacle to adequate worldwide communication. The obstacle is not technical but economic. Will the cost go down if we wait for the state of the art to advance.
No doubt it will. But can we afford to wait. If you words about the present state of the art historically war lines and cables have been used for long haul telephone communication across the land and high frequency radio transmissions across the seas. Wire on land and radio on the seas. This situation is changing. High capacity microwave line of sight radio links have in general proved more economical than wire lines. On the other hand anyone who had occasion to use a transatlantic phone service a few years ago will agree both the channel capacity and reliability of high frequency radio for trans ocean telephone communication have proved wanting. Thus we find truly reliable trans ocean telephone service areality only after the installation of the first transatlantic submarine repeater telephone cable. Submarine cables in fact have important
applications which are likely to increase substantially in the next few years. Even though satellite radio communication probably has more long range promise there are a number of reasons for this among them. Cables require no radio spectrum. Their reliability has been established with transistor ization further improvements are likely and over a period of time they are very economical. Thus we find plans for many more telephone cable installations across the North Atlantic to France. Florida to Puerto Rico and a very elaborate plant to interconnect the far flung British Commonwealth of Nations by means of submarine cable. Thank you. With the advent of space age and the availability of communication satellites with adequate payloads it seems entirely feasible to achieve very reliable worldwide high capacity communications using this medium by high capacity. I mean thousands of telephone teletype
facsimile as well as several television channels. Furthermore there is good reason to believe that such communication can be established much more economically then by the use of any other medium. This would indeed be a giant step forward in overcoming technical and economic barriers which have held back the growth of world wide communication systems. Why is this true. What basic reasons make this great advance possible. The reason is in the nature of electromagnetic waves. First discovered by Henry Clark Maxwell namely that they are like light waves and as such have a very very strong preference to travel in a straight line and transmission established on the direct line of sight bases is much more efficient than any other means. With an appropriate space platform approximately one third of the habitable earth's surface could be
covered on a direct line of sight basis requiring only a modest amount of radio frequency power. It has been shown with three properly located space platforms a total word along call communication capability could be greatly expanded at what should be a very modest cost. When is this likely to occur. My guess is in the next two to four years experimentally and in the next five to 10 years operationally what are the problems in accomplishing this and what alternatives are there if any from the communications standpoint the problem is the weight of the payload on the satellites. Reliability of equipment to be included in the vehicle and particularly the prime power source. The reliability requirement is obviously paramount because a maintenance engineer would have a hard time reaching the satellite to change components and make adjustments in the event a failure a replacement satellite would have to
be sent up. If there were enough failures we would end up with a sky full of satellites. We should mention here the possible use of passive satellites for communication purposes. In this case the satellite instead of acting as a repeater amplifier of the signal directed to it simply reflects the energy earthward calculations indicate that a practical approach is possible but would be limited in communication capacity. The moon has been used experimentally as such a passive satellite. All things considered it is our opinion at the present time that active satellites have a more promising future from the worldwide communications standpoint. Communication satellites are very promising and important for another very important application namely communication with aircraft. Since modern aircraft are out of range of line of sight radio in a relatively short time
particularly in flights over the ocean and since high frequency radio is subject to propagation outages satellite repeaters would obviously Alok complete and reliable contact with aircraft throughout its flight. In what other areas of communication can we look for substantial advances in the next few years for a completely efficient world wide communication complex one of the most difficult problems to deal with circuit switching electromechanical switches now in use so reliable and economical in their present application do not provide the speed and flexibility for a truly world wide communication system. A tremendous amount of work is going on in the field of electronic and magnetic switching. The results are promising but not yet economical compared to the electro mechanical switches. The next 10 years are likely to see drastic advances in this field. Another important switching
area deals with message switching in teletype and digital data circuits using advanced computer techniques considerable economies are likely in the next few years in the vast teletype and digital data transmission field. By far the greatest delays in message and data transmission is manual handling. There will be great improvements with automatic processing systems now under development. Another transmission medium offers a tremendous promise for world wide communication of tomorrow. This is guided waves and is analogous to a coaxial lines except it merely uses hollow pipes to carry extremely high radio frequencies using pulse code modulation. This medium will be particularly important in very heavy traffic areas because each waveguide will be capable of handling several thousand telephone as well as scores of television channels. In closing I'd like to retrace my steps and consider an aspect of communication
real communication which I have not covered. The communication I have talked about might be defined as ability to convey from one person or machine in one part of the world to another person at a different part of the world. A completely faithful reproduction of voice words data or pictures as it exists existed at the or originating point. This is a difficult task and as indicated has a good engineering solution. But is this real communication. Does complete fidelity have transmission of words and data and even pictures over thousands of miles necessarily ensure proper communication between the individuals and groups at the opposite ends of the link. We have seen great stress laid off late in management circles until the importance of good communications and it is in fact vitally important in any organization and community vitally important for the world.
Only very recently I encountered a very respected member of my profession who having travelled halfway across the country to convey certain thoughts and ideas in person to a group came out of that meeting quite discouraged. Temporarily I hope to say we all talk the same language but somehow we did not communicate. For a successful worldwide communication between people in this more fundamental sense we must turn to social and political scientists for help. It's much more than an engineering and economic problem. Mr. Armey vice president of communications systems for the International Telephone and Telegraph Laboratories has just raised a very important and provocative question. What is real communication. Some will say that it is simply the act of conveying information transferring the thought from one mind to another. Others see it as more complex with the
second mind not only receiving the thought but embracing it as Dr. condolence suggested. We have turned for help to a social scientist Dr. Fillmore h centered professor of psychology and chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas. What is your view on this question Dr. Sandford. I go along with defining communication as at least a two way kind of thing. But I'm all comfortable with where the scientific definition of communication science has to be public and it is public when one person observes something and writes it down and signs it and puts it in for me in such a way that another person can react to the world of the first person as if you were there in person. Now this is a limited scientific kind of communication. You assume that both people are interested in knowing about the world that one is not selling and the other something one is not. Promoting anything one is communicating about the world so that the other
person can respond to that world in the absence that often this is scientific communication or real communication. Mr. canoe in question was actually a tandem sort of thing. He further asked does complete fidelity have transmission of words and data and even pictures over thousands of miles necessarily ensure proper communication between the individuals and groups at the opposite ends of the link. I would approach that kind of question empirically by saying let's look at communication as it happens and try to understand the conditions under which it happens. It seems to me in simplest minded times you've got to have somebody who wants to say something and somebody who wants to listen to what he's got to say. Now if you just meet those two criteria they're not very many people in the world who want to talk to very many people in the world now. Well what kind of people in the world want to talk to what kind of people in the world. Americans want to talk to Americans within limits.
Americans really don't want to talk to. The natives of Ghana had much the natives of Ghana probably don't want to talk back but maybe there's a common kind of a concern. And this tool is a technical tool of a worldwide communication chain could could really be used with people on either end of it. If the interest were universal Well then assuming that there are these areas of universal interest that we do have something of value to say to one another when we are able to speak directly to any point in the world are the social scientists ready to help us communicate the proper things and communicating effectively. This brings out the whole leg in social science knowledge. We do not have a science of communication. All of human behavior that is really up to its best snuff. You know Don well there's going to be one because knowledge does accumulate and and it snowballs and it goes along geometrically. And that is coming I'm not rich in the
behavior of men that is going to be sound and stable and very applicable. But why is it lagged under what circumstances might it be going toward real human significance. I think things are coming along in the relation between social science and society to such an extent that we can expect more support and more utilization of the notions that social scientists are turning up every day. We're going to now stay in the laboratory you see signs of this but up until now social science hasn't really belonged for a number of reasons it seems to me. People don't want knowledge about themselves as much as they want knowledge about gadgets or at least they have a tougher time standing it. People who run their lives and their communications business on the basis so demonstrably untenable notions and little knowledge. That's one general summary conviction I would have about this. The other one simply is an optimistic one that there can be good usable knowledge
about communication and other forms of human behavior. Thank you Dr. Fillmore h Sanford professor of psychology and chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas. Earlier in today's program on world communications in the space age we heard the comments of Mr. Edmund A Laporte director of communications engineering for the Radio Corporation of America and of Mister Vice president of communications systems International Telephone and Telegraph laboratories. This is the sixth in a series of programs designed to explore the problems and promises of the age of space to assess realistically the dimensions of a new age. We invite you to listen again at the same time next week when the legal dilemmas of the space age will be examined by Mr Andrew general counsel and former president of the International Astronautical Federation and PROFESSOR JOHN COBB Cooper one of the world's most eminent authorities on air law.
As these gentlemen explore the law of outer space. These programs were produced and directed by the Reich Meyer who serves as moderator. Coordinator and writer on their ID Benjamin. The series was under the supervision of Robert F. shaken gemara speaker. Imagines of a new age was produced and recorded by radio television. The University of Texas under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Was.
This is the end of Radio Network.
- Dimensions of a new age
- Producing Organization
- University of Texas
- KUT (Radio station : Austin, Tex.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program explores significant advancements made in communications during the space age.
- Series Description
- This series explores the new developments and challenges that have emerged in the wake of the "space age" that occurred in the mid-20th century.
- Broadcast Date
- Media type
Director: Rightmyer, Roderick D.
Host: Grauer, Ben
Producing Organization: University of Texas
Producing Organization: KUT (Radio station : Austin, Tex.)
Speaker: Laport, Edmund A.
Speaker: Kandoian, Armig, G.
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 60-56-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- MLA: “Dimensions of a new age; Advances in communications systems.” 1960-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-b853kc40>.
- APA: Dimensions of a new age; Advances in communications systems. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-b853kc40