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ma058 - The Geometry of Microwave Antennas William R...

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The Geometry of Microwave Antennas William R. Parzynski, Montclair State College, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043 Mathematics Teacher, April 1984, Volume 77, Number 4, pp. 294–296. Mathematics Teacher is a publication of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (NCTM). More than 200 books, videos, software, posters, and research reports are available through NCTM’S publication program. Individual members receive a 20% reduction off the list price. For more information on membership on the NCTM, please call or write: NCTM Headquarters Office 1906 Association Drive Reston, Virginia 20191-9988 Phone: (703) 620-9840 Fax: (703) 476-2970 Internet: http://www.nctm.org E-Mail: [email protected] Article reprint with permission from Mathematics Teacher, copyright April 1984 by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. All rights reserved. P arabolic antennas have become a common sight. Home television antennas can receive more than a hundred channels. Parabolic reflectors are as commonplace as an automobile headlight and as exotic as the solar reflector in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun. Antenna-reflector systems are used extensively in space exploration, communications, and radio astronomy. The antenna shown in figure 1, located in the Mojave desert of California, is sixty-four meters in diameter at its rim. This huge size has made possible communication with the Voyager spacecrafts at distances from Earth in excess of 950 million miles, even though Voyager was linked to Earth by a feeble twenty-watt transmitter.
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Fig. 1. An antenna in the Mojave desert
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