Volume 1, Number 4, Fall, 1983

Future File

“Optical Fiber Threatens Satellite Role in Voice links.” Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 31, 1983.

Competition from optical communications links is already starting to force satellites out of the market for point-to-point voice transmission. Fiber optic links across the Atlantic and from Japan to Hawaii are already planned for 1988. AT&T and ITT are starting to move some of their telephone service off their satellites and onto optic links. Communications satellites are expected to remain competitive in point-to-multipoint service such as direct-to-home broadcasting.

“NASA Forecasts SatComm Capacity Saturation.” Aviation Week & Space Technology, April 18, 1983.

A recent study by Western Union and ITT indicates that, even with 2-degree spacing, demand for satellite communications service in the VS will saturate available capacity in the early to mid-l990s. The forecast shows 1,280 equivalent 30-MHz transponders in orbit by 1990, and 1,460 by 2000 (compared to 680 in 1980).

“Nerve Regeneration Successes Spark optimism and controversy.” Medical World News, August 8, 1983.

The once popular notion that central nervous system fibers are incapable of regrowth is being proved wrong. A Canadian neuroscientist, Dr. Albert Aguayo has developed a technique for consistently “tricking” the CNS neurons into growing along a bridge of transplanted peripheral nerve sheaths. The biochemistry of the sheath either permits or actually encourages the CNS regeneration. Fibers as long as 7 cm displaying typical discharge patterns have been grown.

Genetech Claims ‘First’ in Technology to Make Antibodies.” The Wall street Journal, May 5. 1983.

Last month scientists at Damon Corp. in Massachusetts reported a new method of producing monoclonal antibodies in larger quantities (Perimeters #77). Now Genetech of California reports the first successful production of monoclonal antibodies using recombinant DNA techniques to induce bacteria to produce the antibody.

“Government Studies Private Firm’s Challenge to Intelsat Monopoly.” Electronic Engineering Times, August l5, 1983.

Intelsat, a 109-nation consortium that has a legal monopoly on satellite transmission between the US and Europe, is “enraged” at the possibility that Thomas McKnight and partner Christopher Vizas may have found a loophole in the 1972 treaty that established Intelsat’s monopoly. The newly-formed Orion Satellite Corp. has applied to the FCC for permission to launch two satellites, and has already reserved space on 1986 and 1987 space shuttles. McKnight, a communications lawyer, says that since Orion is private, it falls outside the treaty. The government has created a l7-member working-team of State Department: FCC, US Information Agency, and other officials to study the situation.

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