TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: What Exactly Did "Telstar" Do?

Re: What Exactly Did "Telstar" Do?

AES/newspost (
Tue, 14 Dec 2004 18:56:22 -0800

In article <>, Charles G Gray
<> wrote:

> Communications were established between Jet Propulsion Laboratories
> (JPL) in Goldstone, CA and Bell Laboratories at Holmdel, NJ. JPL
> used a 26 meter parabolic dish antenna with 10 Kw transmit
> power. Bell Labs used a horn reflector with a 6 x 6 meter aperture.

The excruciating careful calibrations of receiver noise temperature
which Bell Labs carried on this antenna and the attached microwave
solid-state maser preamplifier revealed that the system had about 3
degrees K of unexplained system noise or equivalent input noise
temperature coming into the antenna, out of a total system input noise
temperature of about 20 K when looking at the zenith.

Penzias and Wilson won the Nobel Prize in Physics a few years later
for using the Holmdel horn antenna and receiver to show that this
noise, which appeared to come from everywhere in the sky as a uniform
radiation bath, represented the isotropic 3 K background radiation
left over from the original "Big Bang" creation of the universe.

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