Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"None of us, no matter what continent or island or ice cap, asked to be born in the first place, and that even somebody as old as I am, which is 80, only just got here."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Scanning-Disk Telescope  
  A telescope which uses a television-like monitor instead of an eyepiece.  

As far as I know, this is the first use of the idea of connecting what we now call a television or video camera to a telescope in science fiction.

Jimmy went to one of the telescope eyepieces. He plugged it into one of the brightside telescopes and worked the controls. All the telescopes, even the minor ones on the Power Planet, are scanning-disk affairs. A lens throws an image on a scanning-disk exactly like the television apparatus used so much on earth. The impulses sorted out by the scanning-disk can be amplified and dispersed to produce almost any magnification, the limit depending on the number of apertures per inch on the scanning-disk. Jimmy had picked out the main solar-side telescope. He regarded the sun-storm forming in Latitude 27 degrees north. He swung the lens — outside in empty space — over to the declination of Neptune...

The main telescope on the dark side is almost never turned on to the central observatory. It is the most delicate, the most perfect, of all the instruments on the Power Planet. Its scanning-disk alone took three years to make, with over one hundred thousand apertures to the inch. At its highest amplification, it will magnify something more than ten thousand diameters.

Technovelgy from The Power Planet, by Murray Leinster.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Here is another excerpt with more details on how this is used:

The oddity was a rocket, careering through nothingness with its eight tubes spouting vast quantities of fumes. It was not a large ship, as rockets go...

A portlike door opened with a brisk swiftness in the blinding sunlight. A long metal arm reached out. A lens glittered at its end. A little scanning-disk began to twinkle vividly...

Presently the long lens-bearing tube changed its position. The lens had pointed roughly toward the sun. It was as if an observation had been taken to find the Power Planet and check the course of the rocket. Now it pointed back toward the earth.

Again seeming motionlessness save for the twinkling of the scanning-disk. The scanning telescope would bring the earth astoundingly close. The continents and the polar caps would be quite distinct...

Historians may recall that, before LCDs or even cathode ray tubes, there was a mechanical means of creating, transmitting and showing a picture:

Mechanical television or mechanical scan television is a television system that relies on a mechanical scanning device, such as a rotating disk with holes in it or a rotating mirror drum, to scan the scene and generate the video signal, and a similar mechanical device at the receiver to display the picture...

Mechanical-scanning methods were used in the earliest experimental television systems in the 1920s and 1930s. One of the first experimental wireless television transmissions was by John Logie Baird on October 2, 1925, in London. By 1928 many radio stations were broadcasting experimental television programs using mechanical systems. However the technology never produced images of sufficient quality to become popular with the public.

(Via Wikipedia)

Although not quite the same thing, the inventor of the scanning disk idea actually patented it as an "electric telescope" in 1884:

While still a student he conceived an "electric telescope", mainly known for the idea of using a spiral-perforated disk (Nipkow disk), to divide a picture into a linear sequence of points. Accounts of its invention state that the idea came to him while sitting alone at home with an oil lamp on Christmas Eve, 1883. Alexander Bain had transmitted images telegraphically in the 1840s but the Nipkow disk improved the encoding process. He applied to the imperial patent office in Berlin for a patent covering an "electric telescope" for the "electric reproduction of illuminating objects", in the category "electric apparatuses". This was granted on 15 January 1885, retroactive to 6 January 1884. (Wikipedia)

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Power Planet
  More Ideas and Technology by Murray Leinster
  Tech news articles related to The Power Planet
  Tech news articles related to works by Murray Leinster

Articles related to Engineering
The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'Whisper Mode' ala Blue Thunder Researched At Bristol
Moonwalkers AI-Controlled Electric Shoes
Electric Catamaran 'Explorer Eco 40m' Has 'Solar Skin'

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.