March 1967 Electronics World
People old and young
enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history of early electronics. Electronics World
was published from May 1959 through December 1971. See all
Electronics World articles.
45 years from now, state-of-the-art reports we read of today
will seem as primitive as some of these projects that appeared
in the March 1967 edition of Electronics World. As compared
to some of the stories from 1950s - 1960s era, these are notably
closer to today's efforts because by then the transistor and
some integrated circuits were commonplace.
Recent Developments in Electronics
Portable Landing System. An Air Force twin-jet trainer is
shown making an accurate approach over a portable ground station
during technical evaluation at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
When interrogated, the ground unit provides range and range
rate as well as conventional glide path and localizer information
to enable the pilot to remain in full command during approach
and landing. The system is being developed by Honeywell to meet
pressing military requirements for an effective all-weather
landing system in remote combat areas, The system operates on
the C band (5100 MHz) and has a range of 10 nautical miles.
Four foldable flat-plate antenna arrays are used along with
an omnidirectional antenna, control box, and optical bore-sight,
all mounted on a tripod. It can be set up and aligned by one
man in five minutes. Power is supplied by a motor generator,
with standby 28-volt batteries. The present prototype weight
is 55 pounds but this can be reduced.
Computer-Generated Vocal-Tract Model. Accurate synthetic
speech is now being produced with the aid of a controllable,
computer-generated model of the vocal tract developed at Bell
Labs. The model, based on information stored in a computer,
is actually a geometric description of vocal-tract areas as
they are shaped to produce various sounds. When synthesizing
speech, a researcher can see an outline of the vocal tract displayed
on an oscilloscope and at the same time, hear the sound which
corresponds to the displayed shape, By operating switches and
turning knobs at a computer console, the researcher can change
shape and sound simultaneously. Thus, synthetic speech is improved.
Tubeless TV Camera. A revolutionary tubeless TV camera is
being demonstrated here by RCA Laboratories technician, prior
to its delivery to the U.S. Air Force Avionics Laboratory, sponsor
of the development. The device is described as a first step
toward a new era of personal TV communication systems, with
eventual application in military, space, medical, industrial,
and home functions. The camera employs arrays of 132,000 thin-film
elements deposited on four glass slides only one-inch square
to perform functions similar to those of a pickup tube and picture-processing
elements in a standard TV camera. Contained in the lower portion
of the device as shown here is a miniature transistorized transmitter
that broadcasts picture signals to a special receiver that is
located across the room.
Applications Technology Satellite. This is the new 790-lb satellite
that was launched from Cape Kennedy early in December, This
satellite, the ATS-1, is expected to bring practical benefits
to mankind from space technology. It has already been placed
in a synchronous orbit at the intersection of the Equator and
the International Date Line. From this point it has relayed
conversations between a ground flight controller in the U.S.
to a number of commercial and government aircraft flying over
the Pacific and the United States. It has also photographed
weather conditions and relayed color-TV signals. Five ATS satellites
are being built by Hughes.
VOR Radio-Range Antenna System. Resembling a giant mushroom
ring, these antennas guide jet aircraft in rugged mountains
near Ruedesheim, Germany. Previous systems were afflicted with
dangerous errors due to reflections of the radio waves from
the craggy mountain peaks. The antenna system, developed by
Standard Elektrik Lorenz, ITT subsidiary, is employed in a doppler
v.h.f. omnidirectional radio range. The pattern of the new VOR
antenna is identical with that of the standard system and aircraft
equipment need not be modified.
CCTV Weather Briefing System. Weathervision-a closed-circuit
television system for briefing pilots on weather and flight
conditions-is to be used by our Strategic Air Command and Tactical
Air Command in the U.S. and Europe. The closed-circuit camera
scans information displayed on the console, then relays the
picture to monitors in briefing rooms distant from the central
control point. Two-way audio hookup permits conversation between
briefing officer and pilots. Some 72 such systems are being
installed at 67 bases under a $3 million contract awarded to
High-Speed Fiber-Optic CRT Oscillograph. A new recording
oscillograph which makes use of a special fiberoptic cathode-ray
tube to achieve unprecedented direct printout writing speeds
is shown here. The measured signal, also monitored by the small
scope at the upper right, is recorded on 6-in-wide photosensitive
paper that passes over the face of the tube during operation.
The instrument, introduced by Honeywell, will measure and record
high-frequency analog data at up to one million hertz, and has
a data print-out capability nearly 100 times faster than any
other direct-write system on the market. Writing speed is more
than a million inches/sec.