Evolution of Microwave: History of Wireless Communications

The Microwave Sky

This image of microwave energy in a "total sky" picture of the known universe shows it's everywhere in primordial space, more than 13 billion years ago.

Microwaves are as old as the beginning of the universe. Well, they’ve been around for at least 13.7 billion years—very close to the total time since the Big Bang, some 14 billion years ago. However, we don’t want to go that far back in covering the history of microwave communications.

Having just observed the 155th anniversary of the birth of Nikola Tesla, arguably the most important inventor involved in radio and wireless communications, this is a good time to take a broader view of the wireless industry. If you have been in the wireless transmission field for some time, you are probably familiar with Dick Laine, Aviat Networks‘ principal engineer. He has taught a wireless transmission course for many years—for Aviat Networks and its predecessor companies.

The embedded presentation below comes from one of those courses. In a technological field filled with such well-educated scientists and engineers from some of the finest universities and colleges, it’s hard to believe that microwave solutions and radio itself started in so much controversy by men who were in many cases self-taught. Dick’s presentation goes over all of this in a bit more detail. Hopefully, it’s enough to whet your appetite to find out more. If you like the presentation, consider hearing it live or another lecture series on wireless transmission engineering at one of our open enrollment training courses.

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Homage to Nikola Tesla, Great Inventor of Wireless Technology

The photograph image of Nikola Tesla (1856-194...

Image via Wikipedia

It is with great pleasure that I share with all of you my humble and most sincere homage to Nikola Tesla, the genius and pioneer in what today is our job and passion, wireless communications.

This week of July 10, we are celebrating the 155th anniversary of the birth of Tesla, one of the most important inventors in history. Tesla mastered disciplines such as physics, mathematics and electricity and is considered the father of the alternating current and founder of the electrical industry. His most famous invention was the eponymous Tesla coil, which was a source of electromagnetic energy in early wireless telegraphy systems up until the 1920s.

Among his most important inventions were the radio, the coils for the alternating current electrical generator, the (electrical) induction motor, the sparking bulb, the alternator and the remote control. However, few of these machines were acknowledged as invented by Tesla. In spite of having an amazing mind, being a visionary as well as an intelligent man as few are, he was a mysterious and obscure character, controversial and incapable of obtaining any benefit from his inventions and even saw another man receive the Nobel Prize for one of his own inventions.

People associated him with strange experiments, secret weapons and unrealizable theories that exceeded the utopian and even bordered on insanity. Besides electromagnetism and electrical engineering, Tesla’s work comprises multiple disciplines such as robotics, ballistics, mechanics, computer science and nuclear and theoretical physics, which allowed him to even question some of Albert Einstein’s theories

Although Tesla was not well known, his practical and functional inventions are the source of technologically advanced civilization in such an elemental way that it was said Tesla was the one who invented the 20th century.

Brief Nikola Tesla biography

Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 to January 7, 1943) born in Similjan, what at that time was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which today is part of Croatia. A genius since his early years as a student who was passionate about mathematics and science, he was able to memorize complete books and make complex mathematical calculations to the embarrassment of his professors.

His father, who was an Orthodox pastor, pushed him to follow his religious vocation, but Tesla was more motivated by his mother’s instinct of development, which led her to invent gadgets such as the mechanical egg mixer to help her with house chores. Tesla studied mechanical and electrical engineering in Austria and physics in what would become Czechoslovakia and worked in several electricity and telephone companies throughout Europe.

It is important that I highlight an extra aspect related to free energy. Tesla was a genius who thought that energy should be free of charge, which is why many of his inventions were never to acquire this benefit. Unfortunately, his viewpoint made many important men of the day into his mortal enemies, such as Thomas Alva Edison and George Westinghouse, among others.

Tesla was a great human being with a unique strength of character—to such an extent that he endured with great stoicism when Guglielmo Marconi obtained the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics using Tesla’s radio patents.

Dear colleagues, as a last tribute to Tesla, let me ask you to take a moment of your time to surf the web and read the great amount of information available about him. Enjoy it and share it, and let’s make that our best tribute to this great inventor who left us not only his teachings about technology but also a message of humbleness.

Thanks for sharing this homage.

Emanuel Jaralampidis
Sales Support Engineer, Aviat Networks

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