meteor-burst communications

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A technique for sending messages by bouncing radio waves off the trails of meteors. High-speed computer-controlled equipment is used to sense the presence of a meteor and to broadcast a signal during the short time that the meteor races across the sky.

The system, first suggested in the late 1920s, remained impracticable until data-compression techniques were developed, enabling messages to be sent in automatic high-speed bursts each time a meteor trail appeared. There are usually enough meteor trails in the sky at any time to permit continuous transmission of a message. The technique offers a communications link that is difficult to jam, undisturbed by storms on the Sun, and would not be affected by nuclear war.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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