Sunday, 11 April 2010

History of the Undersea Communications

The first submarine telegraph cable, laid by the brothers Jacob and John Watkins Brett between England and France in August 1850, was of simple construction - a copper conductor with gutta percha insulation and no armoring. It worked for only a day, then broke from chafing on rocks; another version says that the cable was hooked by a fisherman and destroyed, It quickly became apparent that cables needed to be armored to withstand not only the stresses of being laid and the risks of being damaged by fishing vessels, but also the predations of aquatic life.

The first wire ropes were made with iron wire, using the same manufacturing methods as for hemp rope. By 1834 wire ropes developed by the German engineer Wilhelm Albert were being used in the mines in Germany's Upper Harz district, and it was estimated that the additional manufacturing cost was more than covered by the much longer life of the wire rope over traditional hemp ropes. The new technology spread rapidly to Britain, and by the late 1830s there were a number of companies making wire rope.

In 1837 Lewis Gordon, formerly an assistant to Brunel during the construction of the Thames Tunnel, made a career change to practical mining, and entered the Freiburg School of Mines in Germany, and then the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. In 1838 he visited the mines at Clausthal in the Harz mountains, and met Wilhelm Albert. Impressed by what he saw, he wrote to his friend R.S. Newall in Britain on June 20th, 1838, urging him to "Invent a machine for making (wire ropes)".

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  1. Also:

  2. Modern Communication, Technology and Skilled Work

    1. Please check the meaning and use of the following words:

    a. Cord _________________________ j. Connector ______________________
    b. Wire _________________________ k. Core ______________________
    c. Cable _________________________ l. Outer jacket ____________________
    d. Rope _________________________ m. Cladding ______________________
    e. Line _________________________ n. Buffer coating __________________
    f. Power _________________________ o. Splicing _____________________
    g. Plug _________________________ p. Cable laying ___________________
    h. Switch _________________________ r. Coating _____________________
    i. Socket _________________________ s. Tracing _____________________

    2. Try to give a clear answer to these questions (search for information):

    a. How can we link two continents in terms of communication?
    b. What are the things you need to talk abroad? _____________________________________________________
    c. What materials are a must to get that goal? _____________________________________________________
    d. Where do those materials come from? _____________________________________________________
    e. Who makes that technology work and where is it made? _____________________________________________________
    f. What is the role of communication in modern life? _____________________________________________

    3. Choose one of these topics and write your opinion about it:
    (use the back of this page)

    a. Life aboard a ship, living 24 hours with your working mates.

    b. The importance of state of the art technology for the growing economies.

    c. Companies and political borders, boundaries for commerce.

    d. Global thinking and local trade, their relationship.

    4. Vocabulary: Take notes on the new words and terms you learn.
    (use the back of this page)

    5. Read again your opinion on exercise 3 and tell the rest how your view on the topic has changed after these lessons and why.

    6. Share your work with a partner.

    7. Explain to the group.