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Web advancements: The future of communications

Joseph Pelton, Director of the Space and Advanced Communications Research Institute at George Washington University and the Director of the Arthur C. Clark Institute, offered many ideas about the future of communications.

When he spoke on Thursday night in the student center, he offered solutions to the demands of consumers for better and cheaper ways of communicating.

Pelton said that over the next 20 years, there will be a 1,000 times greater connection to the Internet.

With the increase in connection rates, people will be able to access three orders of magnitude more to receive information.

“The trend is to move faster and faster covering larger areas, eventually going global,” Pelton said.

Pelton spoke about other theories, including the Negrophonte Theory. According to this theory, cable and wireless services will replace broadband and narrow ones.

Pelton disagreed, however. “People like broadband services, because it is cheaper,” he said.

“Satellites can be a key part of the ‘World Wide Mind’ if strategic steps are taken now,” Pelton said.

He is currently working with Japan on a study to determine the future of satellites.

According to Pelton, he and his fellow researchers are hoping these satellites will provide .1 to 1 watt of power and voice-to-text interface.

They are also hoping that it will provide a multi-function integrated device for voice, data, paging, computing, Internet interface, web-mapping searches and calendars.

According to Pelton, the researchers have proposed three different types of satellites that are more effective than current ones.

The first satellite involves a series of antennas that are 50 meters in size and weigh 100 kilograms.

The second was an array federal adaptive membrane reflector. The third involves deploying thousands of satellites that each weigh a few metric tons into orbit.

Of the third, Pelton said, “This satellite could be redeployed as needed. It would not just be space junk after they were through with it.”

All of these ideas for satellites have 20 to 50 times greater capacity for frequency, Pelton said.

High altitude platform systems are the method Pelton proposed to transmit information. He described the four basic concepts of these communication devices.

Dirigibles, the first concept, are devices that are in the air, but have reoccurring problems because they “shift with the wind directions.”

The second, according to Pelton, are high altitude planes and jets, which can stay in the air for seven to nine days at a time.

The last two concepts Pelton mentioned were solar-powered crafts and beam Radio-Frequency (RF) power.

Allen Guida, an off-campus attendee, asked Pelton, “What are we to do with all of the fiber optics in the world?” “Fiber can’t provide mobile services, although it is a major part of broadband services worldwide,” Pelton added.

Satellites are now being made in all different sizes, Pelton said.

Wayne Monsees, another off-campus attendee, asked Pelton, “Do you see bigger satellites or smaller ones as better? Is bigger better?”

Pelton said, “Mass of the satellites is no more than today’s satellites, which the maximum is 12,000 pounds, and they can make then weighing less.”

Pelton ended his speech, stressing that the, “current gap between service providers, researchers and satellite manufactures is dangerous.”


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