Satellites have revolutionized our ability to communicate around the world. The first communications satellite was Telstar I, and was launched on July 10, 1962. This combined effort between NASA and communications giant AT&T was a huge success. Since that time, the number of satellites orbiting the earth has grown significantly. As of January 2021, there are over 3,000 active satellites in orbit.
For more than 100 years, High Frequency (HF) radio waves have enabled people to communicate over vast distances. From Marconi's first experiments with HF in the late 1800s and early 1900s until the 1950s, HF was the primary means of communication for many industries such as maritime shipping, long-distance aviation, and the military. As other options began to surface, specifically satellite communications, HF began to fall out of favor.
Our world continues to become more connected electronically every day. Computers are present in nearly every aspect of our lives. Many of us take for granted how dependent we have become on the internet and the numerous devices we use to connect ourselves to the information superhighway.
There are many challenges to overcome when responding to disasters. Whether the disaster is natural or human-made, all disasters share some common obstacles. If you have ever been involved in a disaster situation, either as a victim or as part of the recovery effort, you know communications are one such hurdle to overcome.