Optical Telegraphs

Brought to you by The Wireless Heritage Group

Join the Wireless Heritage SIG on a journey to review the history the Optical Telegraph and learn how these early systems were engineered, and how their deployment was shaped by the political turmoil of the time.

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

Join the Wireless Heritage SIG and Dr Stephen Unger on a journey to review the history the Optical Telegraph, learn how these early systems were engineered, and how their deployment was shaped by the political turmoil of the time.

The Optical Telegraph was invented at the end of the 18th century and represented the birth of modern telecommunications. Signal fires had been used for thousands of years to send prearranged warnings, but optical telegraphs were the first systems to transmit complex messages over long distances. Elaborate mechanical structures were used to create complex signals, which could then be viewed at a distance using a telescope. Sequences of signals were then converted to messages using codebooks.  

Most optical telegraph networks were constructed for military purposes. They were used by the First French Empire during the Napoleonic Wars, by the English Admiralty to coordinate action by the Royal Navy, and by the Russian and Prussian Empires to consolidate their hold on territories gained following the Napoleonic Wars.  Some optical telegraph networks were funded commercially, mainly associated with major harbours, where they provided early information on ships coming into port. Steve in his talk will describe how these early systems were engineered, and how their deployment was shaped by the political turmoil of the time.

Taking place at the Bradfield Centre, Cambridge with the presentation starting at 15:00, the event will provide delegates with ample opportunities to network with fellow delegates.

Employees of CW member organisations can attend this event for free. You will need to be logged into your CW account to access your free ticket – log in (or reset your password here). Tickets for non-members are £10 plus VAT. LIMITED FREE PLACES AVAILABLE for non-members who are under 35. For further information and to claim a free place please contact clare.kettle@cambridgewireless.co.uk


A CW Member?

Why not maximise your networking and join us for the CW's annual Member BBQ, which is taking place directly after this event.  This event is exclusively for CW members and is the perfect opportunity to create relationships with other member organisations and is designed to bring like-minded people together and help them exchange ideas and opportunities. To learn more and to register please click here

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWHeritage.

Agenda

Expand all

The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.

15:00

Registration opens

15:15

Welcome & Introduction from Geoff Varrall of RTT Online and Wireless Heritage SIG Champion

15:20

'The Optical Telegraph', Dr Stephen Unger

Steve will describe how early optical telegraph systems were engineered, and explore how their deployment was shaped by the political turmoil of the time.

15:50

Q&A with the audience, Chaired by Geoff Varrall of RTT Online and Wireless Heritage SIG Champion

16:00

Networking over refreshments

16:45

Event finishes

Speakers

Stephen Unger - Senior Advisor, Stephen Unger Consulting Ltd

Stephen has spent much of his career working with wireless technologies. He started out using radio telescopes for astronomical research, before gaining his first commercial experience with Ionica, the Cambridge company that built the world’s first fixed wireless network.

He then moved to Ofcom, the UK regulator for digital communications. He was an executive member of Ofcom’s Board, served as Ofcom’s Chief Technology Officer, and as Acting Chief Executive. He led the teams responsible for setting strategy for digital communications in the UK, and for representing the UK internationally.

Stephen now holds a portfolio of non-executive and advisory roles in the technology sector. A common theme across his portfolio is an interest in how innovators, entrepreneurs, and government can work together to generate economic growth and social value.

SIG Champions

Stirling Essex - Director, Espansivo

Stirling Essex has over 25 years of product development, product management, strategic marketing and business development experience in many areas of wireless technology, and has been intimately involved in the development of test systems for GSM, CDMA (IS-95), 3G (W-CDMA) and LTE. He founded Espansivo, a technology consultancy specialising in helping organisations with their technology, product and business decisions, in 2005. Stirling was previously a co-champion of the CW Future Wide Area Wireless Special Interest Group and and was a member of the CW Board from 2004 to 2015.

Andy Sutton - BT Fellow & Principal Network Architect, BT

Andy Sutton is a BT Fellow and Principal Network Architect for Wireless Access. The wireless access domain includes 4G/5G RAN architecture and mobile backhaul/xhaul, along with microwave and millimetre wave radio systems, and satellite communications. Andy holds an MSc in Mobile Communications from the University of Salford and has over 35 years of experience within the telecommunications industry. Andy’s current research interests include advanced RAN coordination techniques, including C-RAN and OpenRAN, optical fibre and radio based backhaul/xhaul, along with LEO satellite communications and High-altitude Platform Systems (HAPS), all in the context of building resilient heterogeneous networks. Andy holds the post of Visiting Professor of Telecommunications at the University of Liverpool and the University of Salford, he is a Chartered Engineer and holds Fellowships from the IET, ITP and BCS. Andy sits on the editorial board of the ITP Journal and is a CW SIG Champion for eMBB and Wireless Heritage.

Geoff Varrall - Director, RTT Online

Geoff Varrall joined RTT in 1985 as an executive director and shareholder to develop RTT's international business as a provider of technology and business services to the wireless industry. He co-developed RTT's original series of design and facilitation workshops including 'RF Technology', 'Data Over Radio', 'Introduction to Mobile Radio', and 'Private Mobile Radio Systems and developed 'The Oxford programme', a five day strategic technology and market programme presented annually between 1991 and 2005. Geoff has been running in depth technology and market workshops for the industry for over 33 years, spanning five generations of mobile cellular technology. A co-author of the Mobile Radio Servicing Handbook (Heinemann Butterworth, UK), Data Over Radio, (Quantum Publishing, Mendocino, USA and 3G Handset and Network Design (John Wiley, New York). Geoff's fourth book, Making Telecoms Work – from technical innovation to commercial success (John Wiley) was published in early 2012 followed by 5G Spectrum and Standards published by Artech House in July 2016. His latest book 5G and Satellite Spectrum Standards and Scale is now available from Artech House and can be ordered from http://uk.artechhouse.com/5G-and-Satellite-Spectrum-Standards-and-Scale-P1935.aspx. As a past Director of Cambridge Wireless, Geoff is actively involved in a number of wireless heritage initiatives that aim to capture and record past technology and engineering experience and is a patron of the Science Museum In his spare time he plays Jazz trumpet semi-professionally and is a marathon and ultra-runner.

Nigel Wall - Director, Climate Associates Ltd

Nigel has been involved with connected vehicle research since 1992 when he led BT’s mobile data research team – initially using modems on first generation analogue TACS mobile phones! Since 2001 he has provided consultancy complex-systems, with a primary specialism in connected vehicles. He acted as the Monitoring Officer for twelve of the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle research projects supported by Innovate UK and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. Climate Associates provides consultancy on delivering pragmatic sustainable systems and services, based on life cycle assessments where wholesale replacement of current systems with lower footprint solutions may not be the most sustainable option.

Event Location

Open in google maps

Location info

Bradfield Centre, 184 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0GA

Email organiser

Related resources

Related events

  • Cambridge Wireless

    Cambridge Tech Week 2024

    Register now
  • Cambridge Wireless

    RAN architecture evolution towards the 6G vision

    Register now
  • Cambridge Wireless

    CW Collaborate: Enabling Broadband

    Register now

Subscribe to the CW newsletter

This site uses cookies.

We use cookies to help us to improve our site and they enable us to deliver the best possible service and customer experience. By clicking accept or continuing to use this site you are agreeing to our cookies policy. Learn more

Reserve your place

Join the CW network

CW is a leading and vibrant community with a rapidly expanding network of nearly 400 companies across the globe interested in the development and application of wireless and mobile technologies to solve business problems.

Sign in to your account

Please sign in to your CW account to reserve a place at this event and to qualify for any member discounts.

Start typing and press enter or the magnifying glass to search

Sign up to our newsletter
Stay in touch with CW

Choosing to join an existing organisation means that you'll need to be approved before your registration is complete. You'll be notified by email when your request has been accepted.

i
Your password must be at least 8 characters long and contain at least 1 uppercase character, 1 lowercase character and at least 1 number.

I would like to subscribe to

Select at least one option*