Science and Technology News

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ten Technologies: A Brief Look at Military Evolution — Radio Equipment

By Carla Voorhees,
Defense Media Activity

This is the second in a series of 10 technologies integral to the United States military since World War I.

In the early twentieth century, radio was considered a wonder – it allowed long distance communication without wires, known as “wireless telegraphy.” Morse code was transmitted via electromagnetic waves without the need to lay miles of wires. Although there were drawbacks to the initial technology, such as interference and a lack of security, the technology evolved into the radio we know today.

The Army Signal Corps is the best-known military developer of radio technology. A list of equipment used by the Army Signal Corps can be seen here.

During World War II, radio technology evolved from simply a wireless communications tool to a hybrid approach including teletype and telephone equipment. The Army-Navy Transportable Radio Communications system (AN/TRC) was a game-changer. It could be installed much faster and with fewer personnel than traditional wire-based systems and was small enough to fit into a truck and a trailer. AN/TRC could also transmit facsimile (fax) transmissions of text, pictures, and drawings.

Additionally, during WWII, a radio technology offshoot – RADAR (essentially a tiny Doppler radio) became a critical component in the development of the proximity fuse. This allowed shells equipped with RADAR to sense the target and detonate over the target, rather than on impact, improving the accuracy of artillery fire.

Radio continued to play an integral part throughout WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, and does so to this day.

No comments:

Post a Comment