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Meteor burst communication--the history and role of computing technology in radio communication via meteor trails
Campbell Q., University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, 1986. Type: Book
Date Reviewed: Oct 1 1988

This report appears to be an unpublished master’s thesis or similar research paper that would be available privately from the author. The title is deceptive, implying a more or less balanced treatment of computer science and communications engineering as they relate to meteor burst communications (MBC). However, computers get short shrift. (For example, of 60 references, this reviewer can identify just three as clearly having computer orientation.) The extensive discussion of several MBC systems shows many places where computers have the potential to contribute, including frequency selection, channel quality monitoring, error detection and correction encoding, encryption (for military applications), power management, code rate selection, and protocol logic decoding. In actual MBC equipment, almost all of these tasks have been done historically by hard-wired analog control circuitry. Very recently, 16-bit microprocessors have been used for a few of the simplest computing functions. But the MBC designs that would exploit substantial computer science advances of even 10 years ago are, today, still only on paper.

Rather than the “history of computers” promised in the title, this report describes their potential. It remains for communications engineers to recognize and accept programmable computers as an independent component of MBC technologies.

Reviewer:  B. L. Schwartz Review #: CR112792
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