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Inventions Wanted
May 1960 Radio-Electronics

May 1960 Radio-Electronics

May 1960 Radio-Electronics Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio-Electronics, published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

The National Inventors Council (NIC) mentioned by Hugo Gernsback in this 1960 Radio-Electronics magazine "Inventions Wanted" article was established in 1940 by the U.S. Department of Commerce. It served as a collection point for inventions that had possible national defense and military uses. In the mid-1950's, NIC's functions were transferred to the National Bureau of Standards (NBS, now NIST). An initial list was published six months earlier, and this list includes both updates to the former items and new requests. A few examples that have been realized at this point are: 913) Low-Loss High-Power Ferrites for Use as Microwave Phase Shifter | 914) A Broad-Band Maser Amplifier for Use in the Microwave Region | 975) A New Method of Electronically (not with frequency change) Scanning an Antenna | 1024) High-Power Broad-Band Solid-State RF Amplifiers | 1057) Solid-State Microwave Oscillators | 1139) Field Portable Digital Radar. What might a 2023 list include? Maybe a fully autonomous robotic foot soldier, an invisibility cloak for man and machine, a portable compact and lightweight nuclear power source, an over-the-horizon infrared imager, a bullet with fully programmable flight parameters, a practical space elevator, and here's the mother of all inventions needed - an anti-gravity device. Here is the May 1961 call for inventors.

Inventions Wanted

Invent for Victory, National Inventors Council - RF CafeHugo Gernsback, Editor

Our Armed Forces Call for New Electronics Ideas

In our February, 1959, issue, we printed a list of electronics ideas wanted by our Armed Forces. Here is the latest list, which contains mostly new requests. Anyone may submit proposals to the National Inventors Council for basic inventions needed for national defense.

Such proposals should be submitted separately, typewritten, if possible. It is advisable that descriptions be complete, including references to the basic principles underlying the invention and a discussion of any experimental work or tests that have been conducted. Advantages of the invention as compared to existing devices or techniques should also be listed. It is not necessary that sketches or drawings be professional.

Keep copies of all items presented and retain one copy that has been notarized with the exact date so you will always have proof of conception for patentability. This is important because your original copy will not be returned by the Government.

It is suggested that you write for the booklet "Inventions Wanted by the Armed Forces," November, 1959, issue. Write to: National Inventors Council, US Department of Commerce, Washington 25, D. C. -H.G.

* * *

819. (Revised) Electronic Timer. - Device to measure time intervals, 0.1 μsec to 0.9999999 seconds, to an accuracy of ±.01 μsec or better. The device should be similar to units now capable of resolving to .01 μsec over the same time interval.

859. (Revised) Microwave Filters. - Extremely sharp-cutoff selective filters for the microwave region (L-band or X-band). A significant increase in signal-to-noise ratio would be realized by the use of filters having a bandpass of a few kilocycles.

864. (Revised) Miss-Distance System. - A system which will determine the vector miss distance between a missile and an aerial target. The system should be of a passive or semi-active type and should possess the capability of measuring miss distance to the nearest foot at extremely high sampling rates at any altitude below the ionosphere.

973. Low-Loss High-Power Ferrites for Use as Microwave Phase Shifter.

914. A Broad-Band Maser Amplifier for Use in the Microwave Region.

975. A New Method of Electronically (not with frequency change) Scanning an Antenna.

976. Reliable Long-Life Cathode. An efficient indirectly heated unipotential thermionic cathode having 100,000 hours life in negative grid tube with current density of 500 ma DC per cm2.

983. Preformed Semiconductor Crystals for Device Fabrication. - Germanium and silicon single crystals grown in ribbons or rods with uniform physical and electrical characteristics to the sizes suitable for direct fabrication into diodes, transistors, solar cells, etc. is desired. The semiconductor material should have properties equal or superior to material presently used in germanium and silicon transistors. The new growing method should permit the direct utilization of the semiconductor for device fabrication, thus eliminating the conventional wasteful and expensive slicing, lapping and polishing operations.

998. Techniques for Suppressing Side Lobes of High-Gain Antennas Below any Specified Minimum. - It has been shown theoretically that the optimum antenna for microwave communications is that having high gain and very good side-lobe suppression. Invention of techniques for achieving high gain and negligible side lobes would result in a great saving in equipment and installation costs.

1000. Method of Transmitting Speech on Teletype Circuits. - The use of narrow bandwidths for the transmission of speech requires eliminating the redundancy of speech waveforms and transmitting only the desired information. A single method of extracting this information, transmitting it in a code and recreating speech at the terminal end is needed.

1001. Antenna Measurements. - For use in interference prediction, as well as to determine antenna behavior outside of the design band, rapid and reliable technique is required for measuring three-dimensional antenna response outside the design band. The technique should include consideration of aperture feeds at frequencies other than the design band.

1002. Microwave Delay-Line. - A microwave delay line of reasonable size, with stable electrical characteristics and capable of producing delays in the order of several hundred microseconds. It is desired that attenuation should not exceed 50-60 db, but higher values are acceptable. Bandwidth of at least 0.2 mc is desired.

1008. Transducers That Are Relatively Unaffected by High-Temperature Environment. - Accuracy of generally 1% or better.

1018. Vibration-Isolated Pressure Transducer. - A pressure transducer and/or mounting assembly capable of operating under an environment of: (1) 3,500°F at the transducer diaphragm; (2) 500 g's varying from 0 to 5,000 cycles per second with less than a 1% detriment on the data produced is required.

This transducer must have a frequency response flat to 3 db up to 10,000 cycles or more. This device is desired for the study of unstable rocket engines.

1024. High-Power Broad-Band Solid-State RF Amplifiers.

1025. Broad-Band, RF Memory Capable of Remembering Frequencies Received Simultaneously, Phase and Video Information with Quick Readout (.05μsec).

1043. Application Useful to the Military Force Fields, Gravitation Fields, Anti-Gravity Forces, Etc.

1056. Transistors. - Transistors with power gain and linear characteristics at extremely small emitter currents and collector voltages per-mitting efficient operation at very low signal levels.

1057. Solid-State Microwave Oscillators. - A solid-state device is wanted capable of producing more than 50 row of microwave power in the frequency range above 2000 mc/sec to serve as a solid-state pump for parametric amplifiers.

1059. Ionically Conductive Material (Cation). - Ionically conductive material with the following characteristics: (1) strength sufficient to permit the casting of thin films practically impermeable to gases such as hydrogen, oxygen, etc., (2) very high capacity (in the thin film form) for the acceptance of hydrogen ions at the film or membrane surfaces, (3) high mobility of hydrogen ions within the material so that films or membranes made of the material will have low electrolytical resistance, (4) high concentration of cation acceptor groups throughout the material, (5) hydrophyllic, (6) high stability in acid solutions, (7) very low electronic conductivity.

1060. Nonmechanical Microwave Cavity Timing Method for Gas Masers. - Microwave cavities in X- and K-band should be tunable smoothly and without hysteresis over a range of at least ±2 mc with a sensitivity 1 kc per reproducible control step. No electric or magnetic field is allowed to be present in the cavity besides the microwave field to avoid Stark or Zeeman influences. The total mechanism (without the cavity proper) should not weigh more than 1/2 pound and should be easily adaptable to drive by a servo control circuit to hold the cavity to the exact molecular frequency. The time needed for the tuning device to effect a frequency change of 5 kc should, be less than 1 second.

1061. Pressure-Transducer. - Pressure transducer(s) for the range 0.1 to 1,000 mb with an electrical output (preferably resistance) which employs no moving parts such as diaphragms, linkages or liquids (hypsometers).

1063. Phase-Coherent Excitation of Molecular Beams in the MM-Wave Range. - Ramsey excitation of a molecular beam results in a narrow spectral line whose center position depends to a small extent on the phase difference between the two exciting electromagnetic fields. For zero phase difference the center frequency is unshifted. For 180° phase difference the center is shifted by the amount of the bandwidth. A simple excitation method is needed to allow a Ramsey type excitation of molecular beams in the region between 100 and 300 kmc with a maximum phase difference of 2° between the two separated oscillating fields. For information on the Ramsey method see book by N. F. Ramsey, Molecular Beams, 1956, Oxford University Press.

1064. High-Power Instantaneously Tunable Resonant Circuit for the VHF and Lower UHF Range. - A resonant circuit capable of handling 200 watts at a minimum efficiency of 50%. 400-watt maximum input. Q of approximately 50 to 100. Rate of tuning to be in the order of milliseconds within the band. This could be an improvement of the existing power increductors.

1065. Miniature Antenna in the 6-60-MC Range. - An antenna not over 6 feet in any dimension, weighing less than 100 lbs. and capable of handling 200 watts average power over the 6-60-mc range with an impedance of 50-75 ohms. Omnidirectional to 90° beam width in the horizontal plane and a minimum beam width in the vertical plane of 20°. Linear polarization is desired.

1066. PCM Repeater. - A PCM repeater for land or submarine cables, to handle capacities from 6 to 96 channels, having extreme reliability, of size small enough to become an integral part of the cable or connector, capable of being self-powered, self-fault-locating, and of such design that failure of several repeaters in a system will not affect operation of the system.

1068. Crystal Oscillator. - A crystal oscillator which will automatically adjust its frequency so that the crystal unit operates at zero phase angle (resonance). It must be capable of this self-adjustment to within 1 part in 106 whenever there is a change in the crystal parameters, or when one crystal unit is replaced by another. The frequency range of current interest is 1-200 mc.

1072. Static Power Supply. - A simplified system for cutting of conduction (gaining control) of the controlled silicon rectifier for dc-to-dc converter circuits and dc-to-ac inverters. The system should not be affected by changes in load, input voltage and temperature.

1073. Ionically Conductive Material (Anion). - Ionically conductive material with the following characteristics: (1) strength sufficient to permit the casting of thin films practically impermeable to gases such as hydrogen, oxygen, etc., (2) very high capacity (in the thin film form) for the acceptance of hydrogen (OH) ions at the film or membrane surfaces, (3) high mobility of hydroxyl ions within the materials so that films or membranes of the materials will have very low electrolytical resistance, (4) high concentration of anion acceptor groups throughout the material, (5) hydrophyllic, (6) high stability in alkaline solutions, (7) very low electronic conductivity.

1074. Self-Activating Spare Electronic Components. - Need exists for methods and devices capable of activating a spare component immediately upon failure or malfunction of the original component. The electron tube, amplifier or other device may incorporate multiple self-activating channels or else spare components may be employed which become active when needed. Simplicity, small size and dependable operation are necessary.

1075. Frequency-Conversion Device. - A small lightweight static device for increasing the frequency of single-phase, 60-cycle power to frequencies up to 5 kilocycles square wave or sine wave. 2-kw output, efficiency 90% or better.

1076. Phase-Multiplication Device. - A small lightweight, static device for converting single-phase 60- or 400-cycle power to balanced 3-phase power. 2-kw output with efficiency up to 90% or better.

1077. Transistors. - Transistor capable of operation at ambient temperatures well in excess of 250° C.

1078. Transistors. - Transistors whose characteristics change considerably less with temperature than present units.

1087. Wide-Band Antenna with Medium Gain, Undirectional. - A wide -band antenna of 10-to-1 frequency range which must maintain a single lobe pattern and be circularly polarized and also capable of receiving linearly polarized signals. This antenna should have medium gain on the order of 10 db above a reference dipole. A system of three antennas would cover the frequency range of 10-100, 100-1,000, 1,000-10,000 mc.

1097. Improved Communication Techniques. - There is need for improvement of today's communication techniques or the invention of a new technique which is simple, accurate and usable for the transmission and reception of intelligible signals over a long global range.

Today's techniques of long-range global communication by utilizing radio frequencies of approximately 0.1 through 5,000 mc is limited in range. Thus, today's communication techniques are not usable for the guidance of long-range missiles, i.e. are not sufficient for guiding a missile accurately to a distant target. The effort to overcome present shortcomings was limited to existing communication techniques in general and resulted in the construction and use of costly and complex systems.

1100. Simple Missile Guidance System. - There is a need for a novel design of missile-guidance system of marked simplicity. Such a guidance system is assumed to be producible at low cost, require less space and maintenance and result in increased missile reliability.

The complexity of missile-guidance systems is high at the present. Real progress in increasing the reliability of missile systems and in making missiles a dependable tactical weapon, is dependent mainly upon a simplification of the guidance system. While the simplification of guidance components has shown some progress (such as the use of printed circuits), the guidance system as such has increased in complexity as a result from increased requirements on their functions.

1101. Radio-Noise Elimination. - A need exists for a method to eliminate radio noise, without distortion of the intelligible signal.

All types of radio receivers are interfered by noise (man-made and nature-made). In transmitting speech, intelligible sound, frequencies or pulses; and straight continuous waves, interfering noise results in distortion of the received message. Thus, the guidance of missile systems and the accuracy of telemetet-ed data are severely affected by noise. Today's techniques of eliminat-ing radio noise in receivers only limit or dampen the noise. 01' eliminate both the noise and the in-telligible portion (during occurrence of noise) of the signal.

1103. Analog Computer. - A requirement exists for an analog computer which will give an output representing the distribution of a function of a number of variables, each having its own distribution, to be used as inputs.

1138. Emergency Utilization of TV Transmitters for Anti-Air Detection. - Feasibility study and operational plans should be prepared to utilize certain military radar components in conjunction with existing TV stations to provide anti-air detection in times of urgency.

1139. Field Portable Digital Radar. - Since most data transmission systems today employ digital techniques, it appears reasonable that digitally compatible radars be designed for use with such data transmission systems. The radars output will be purely digital for the functions of trigger video antenna position, etc.

1140. Development of a Wide-Angle, Cold-Cathode, High-Resolution Cathode-Ray Tube. - To accommodate new military electronic systems, it is necessary to develop a high-resolution (in the order of 500 lines per inch), cold-cathode, cathode-ray tube. Such a device would have a wide application in military data display systems.

1141. Development of a Large-Screen, High-Resolution, Multicolor System for Radar and Alpha-Numeric Data Display. - This display system should be capable of displaying radar data in real time, at a resolution of at least 1,250 lines an inch and with a minimum of three colors. It should also be capable of accepting alpha-numeric characters for simultaneous display with the radar.

1142. "Safe Area" Destruction of Missiles Entering Defense Areas. - A technique should he developed to correlate long-range tracking radar capability and a high-speed frequency scan directional radio with combinations of times and frequencies for the purpose of either causing self-destruction of a missile in a "safe area" or changing the flight path.

1252. Instrumentation to Study the Reactions of Active Human Test Subjects when Subjected to Environmental Stress. - Skin thermocouples and rectal thermometers have been developed which can be worn by active clothed test subjects. These sensors, together with their associated instrumentation are reliable, convenient and do not cause discomfort to the subject. More recently, a telemetering system for measuring pulse rates consisting of a sensor and a small transistorized radio transmitter has been designed which can continuously measure heart beats and is now ready for user tests. Similar telemetering devices are required for measuring other physiological factors such as blood flow, cardiac output, oxygen consumption, tidal volume, breathing rate and chemical makeup of the breath.



Posted January 26, 2023

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