Revolution in Satellite communication

Communication is basically a two-way act of sharing information, expressing feelings and emotions which also includes feedback.Humans have come a long way from using sounds, sign languages and pictures till the language as a medium of communication developed.Then as humans began progressing intellectually; printing press, telegraph, postal service were invented ; but in truth, human communication look a radical leap with the electronic and digital inventions like telephone , radio , television and internet which were developed during the 20th century .They are still evolving and widely used in the current scenario and the main aspect related to the development of these modern inventions was the satellite communication that developed during the 20th century

Satellite is an artificial object sent into the orbit of the Earth or any other planet in order to gather information and for the purpose of communication. In Satellite communication, artificial satellites are sent into the orbit of the Earth for the purpose of telecommunication. One cannot use traditional methods like face to face communication, or usage of traditional phones to connect globally but with the use of satellite, global communication becomes possible. For example a signal is given to the satellite from one point of the Earth , the satellite with the use of radio waves sends the signal to the other point thus making communication possible among people. The first satellite launched was Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union in October 1957 and in later years many more satellites were sent into the space by US, India ,UK and other countries. Satellites are used today for television and radio broadcasting, telephonic communication, internet and military operation and this has resulted in the boost of mass communication which was not possible centuries ago with the methods of traditional communication .Thus satellite communication has led to mass communication, quick accessibility, globalization, cultural amalgamation and information explosion with the advancement of science and technology.

With the use of satellites, radio broadcasting took a leap with the advent of Amplitude Modulation (AM) when wide variety of entertainment programs were produced. Dramatic episodes of programs were also played and radio also became a preferred mode to communicate news. Along with AM, FM also developed for the dissemination of music and information. Then came the HD radio that is Hybrid Digital or High Definition for the digital transmission of AM and FM channels for clear audio and other data to be transmitted. Internet connection also allows to listen to streaming audio from any radio station. A new trend in radio is the posdcast where people record an audio show which resembles a radio program and then upload it on the internet so any one can listen. Another radio service is satellite radio which is a paid service that receives signals broadcast by communication satellite. In this, one can hear his or her favourite channels anywhere in the country unlike AM and FM whose signals are limited to particular region. Thus radio being a cost effective medium reached many people around the globe. It has been instrumental in communicating with the illiterate masses of the world and thus it has become popular in developing and under developed countries. In India particularly, Radio broadcasting began with All India Radio and Akashvani. Radio programmes were broadcast for political integration , economic development and modernization of society. Information about national affairs and social change was delivered to the masses through radio shows thus radio became an instrument for social integration. Today , although , the popularity of radio has been marginalised by television and internet , still it has maintained its niche in the technological world. Many more FM channels like Big FM, Radio Mirchi, Red FM, Radio City, Radio One and Fever have come up for the purpose of musical entertainment and to spread social awareness.

In television broadcasting too ,Satellite communication has played an important part. In India , Doordarshan provided a national coverage of the Asian Games of 1982 through the satellite INSAT 1A. Foreign channels like CNN , Star Tv were broadcast through the international satellite ASIASAT-1 and then domestic channels like Zee TV , Sun TV, Colours TV, Sony TV came into Indian homes but today a big shift has occurred in television and satellite broadcasting where satellite television has come into existence in the form of DTH that is Direct-to-Home television and IPTV that is Internet Protocol TV. DTH refers to satellite TV broadcasting done directly to the dish antenna on the roof of the house .Examples of DTH facilities are Tata Sky, Airtel, Sun Direct and Dish TV . IPTV uses internet connection .It is a kind of live television or live media that has facility of replays, start –over and video on demand. Thus this technological revolution in satellite and television has led to mass distribution of information world wide, creation of social awareness through news updates , entertainment through movies , music , daily soaps, education for children and adults , knowledge of different cultures, places and their history and languages, learning new skills, family bonding, health related issues, religion , politics , science and technology thus creating a whole plethora of knowledge just by sitting at home.

Satellite communication has also revolutionised Internet since the creation of world wide web , e-mail, google, to the current online portals like youtube , instagram , facebook and twitter . Internet has made the world a global village .The world has gone virtual with internet facilities like online booking and orders from apps like Amazon , Flipkart , Snapdeal and Myntra; online education through apps like Byju’s and Vedantu; online degree courses from Coursera,; online banking with personal apps of the respective banks like the YONO app of SBI; cashless transactions through UPI Payment methods like Paytm, Google Pay; research through virtual libraries; trading and business through apps like Meesho ; job search with the aid of apps like Naukri, com or ; online discussion on portals for creative expression like blogs for example Wordpress and Pratilipi ; Medical facilities through Netmeds and Practo; audio-visual entertainment through Youtube channels, Netflix and Amazon Prime ; independent audio entertainment with Gaana .com , Saavn app and Spotify; navigation thorough GPS systems and real-time updates through Google news , NDTV news and Daily Hunt .This revolution is now mainly linked to the smart phone devices which have helped in fostering internet connectivity because smartphones are mobile and handy so whatever we want is just one click away with the provision of internet facility with high speed data on the device.Thus internet has led to information explosion .It has made the world come closer with instant information and rapid accessibility.

Satellite communication is also used in other areas like meteorological departments in order to monitor the weather and climate of the Earth, trace the movement of the storm system, identify cloud pattern, rains and auroras. Satellites also detect city fires, levels and effects of pollution on Earth, dust-storms and snow–cover. They are also used for ice mapping, for marking boundaries of ocean currents , tracking volcanic activities, earthquakes, and energy flows. Thus , information on these aspects through the medium of news channels like BBC, Zee News, NDTV , or informational channels like National Geographic, Discovery can aid in fostering awareness of ecology, warning of the predictable dangers and knowledge and working of natural phenomena not just of Earth but of other planets as well.

Satellite communication has also immensely helped in military operations. It has helped in intelligence, navigation, and military communication by providing information about the movement of enemy forces through speedy and efficient communication and timely information. It is used in counterinsurgencies that is actions aimed to defeat the activities of guerrillas and other revolutionaries. Thus, satellite communication can help in boosting the armed forces of the country by providing real-time updates of dangers like terrorism and impromptu attack by enemy forces.

Thus, Satellite communication has brought an unimaginable revolutionary change in the communication system which seemed impossible three centuries ago. It has made life easier and manageable for humans. This revolution though has assisted humans in intellectual, rational, scientific, and technological progress, but has also made humans dependent on it. Satellite communication also has its own disadvantages. It is expensive because its design, creation and effectiveness require a high amount of capital for reparation and its maintenance. Weather issues like rains and storms can also affect the satellite signal. Launching of the satellite is risky and time-consuming. Failure of the satellite launch is also a disadvantage and it requires regular monitoring once it is set on orbit.

Thus communication with the advancement of science and technology has undergone a drastic revolution in this postmodern world and which in turn has revolutionized the lifestyle of humans. With easy access to information and objects the price of the materials has hiked up but the value has decreased. Consumerism has reached its peak because of the easy disposal of goods in the house. Another breakthrough in communication is the recent phenomenon of the Covid -19 pandemic which has set the whole world at a virtual plane where essential need like education has become virtual along with other business activities. Physical and psychological problems have come up like lethargy, obesity, anxiety, and violence with online activities. Though this technology has connected the entire globe, it has on the other hand emotionally distanced us from our own people as we now give more time to gadgets and less time to humans. Love for material wealth has replaced love for morals and values. Thus, this revolution has not brought a change in the development of machines or gadgets but also in the human lifestyle and this may lead to further evolution in humans and whether it will be beneficial for the humans from a moral perspective is a matter of cynicism.

“ Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.”

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