Radios in Space and on the Ground

One of the cooler questions to ask about space not only how we get up to the stars and survive up there, but also how signals from Earth can reach space stations and astronauts millions of miles apart. Well the answer lies in radio signals.

Quadrature hybrid couplers

Since space is a vacuum, and in space no one can hear you scream, how does communication work if sound can’t traditionally travel? Well radio waves are one of the few things that can travel through space, since they are a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are allowed to go through a vacuum, and can turn signals into sounds.

Astronauts’ radios can pick up the electromagnetic waves and turn them into sound, much like how real radios work on Earth. In the same vein, the astronauts speak into their radios and the sound is turned into the signals that are then bounced back towards Earth.

Traditional radios

Traditional radios work the same way, with sound waves bouncing off of satellites and then coming down to your traditional radio in your home or car. Quadrature hybrid couplers and other components work with radios to manage the signal direction and strength, while still keeping the signal independent.

Everything on the radio is given at a different frequency, and changing the radio station basically means that you are adjusting the frequency and picking up a different signal. The numbers of each station such as 92.1 or 96.7 is the frequency that your set is currently picking up.

Communication all over

Radio waves can allow callers from across the world to be heard on their favorite show, and work as a medium to bring people closer together. The next time you turn on your radio, take a moment to really think about how the radio waves make it all possible.