Beacon

A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention to a specific location. A common example is the lighthouse, which provides a fixed location that can used to navigate around obsticals or into port. More modern examples include a variety of radio beacons that can be read on radio direction finders in all weather, and radar transponders that appear on radar displays.

Beacons can also be combined with semaphoric or other indicators to provide important information, such as the status of an airport, by the colour and rotational pattern of its airport beacon, or of pending weather as indicated on a weather beacon mounted at the top of a tall building or similar site. When used in such fashion, beacons can be considered a form of optical telegraphy.

For navigation

Beacon at Orontes Bank
A navigational beacon denoting the presence of Orontes Bank off Port Vincent, South Australia.

Beacons help guide navigators to their destinations. Types of navigational beacons include radar reflectors, radio beacons, sonic and visual signals. Visual beacons range from small, single-pile structures to large lighthouses or light stations and can be located on land or on water. Lighted beacons are called lights; unlighted beacons are called daybeacons. Aerodrome beacons are used to indicate locations of airports and helipads.

Handheld beacons are also employed in aircraft marshalling, and are used by the marshal to deliver instructions to the crew of aircraft as they move around an active airport, heliport or aircraft carrier.

For defensive communications

Culmstock, Culmstock Beacon - geograph.org.uk - 213525
16th-century beacon hut in Culmstock, Devon, England

Classically, beacons were fires lit at well-known locations on hills or high places, used either as lighthouses for navigation at sea, or for signalling over land that enemy troops were approaching, in order to alert defenses. As signals, beacons are an ancient form of optical telegraph and were part of a relay league.

Systems of this kind have existed for centuries over much of the world. The ancient Greeks called them phryctoriae, while beacons figure on several occasions on the column of Trajan.

In the 10th century, during the Arab–Byzantine wars, the Byzantine Empire used a beacon system to transmit messages from the border with the Abbasid Caliphate, across Anatolia to the imperial palace in the Byzantine capital, Constantinople. It was devised by Leo the Mathematician for Emperor Theophilos, but either abolished or radically curtailed by Theophilos' son and successor, Michael III.[1] Beacons were later used in Greece as well, while the surviving parts of the beacon system in Anatolia seem to have been reactivated in the 12th century by Emperor Manuel I Komnenos.[1]

In Scandinavia many hill forts were part of beacon networks to warn against invading pillagers. In Finland, these beacons were called vainovalkeat, "persecution fires", or vartiotulet, "guard fires", and were used to warn Finn settlements of imminent raids by the Vikings.

In Wales, the Brecon Beacons were named for beacons used to warn of approaching English raiders. In England, the most famous examples are the beacons used in Elizabethan England to warn of the approaching Spanish Armada. Many hills in England were named Beacon Hill after such beacons. In England the authority to erect beacons originally lay wirh the King and later was deligated to the Lord High Admiral. The money due for the maintenance of beacons was called Beaconagium and was levied by the sheriff of each county.[2] In the Scottish borders country, a system of beacon fires was at one time established to warn of incursions by the English. Hume and Eggerstone castles and Soltra Edge were part of this network.[3] The Great Wall of China is also a beacon network.

In Spain, the border of Granada in the territory of the Crown of Castile had a complex beacon network to warn against Moorish raiders and military campaigns.[4]

On vehicles

Beacon positions
Beacon positions on police car

Vehicular beacons are rotating or flashing lights affixed to the top of a vehicle to attract the attention of surrounding vehicles and pedestrians. Emergency vehicles such as fire engines, ambulances, police cars, tow trucks, construction vehicles, and snow-removal vehicles carry beacon lights.

The color of the lamps varies by jurisdiction; typical colors are blue and/or red for police, fire, and medical-emergency vehicles; amber for hazards (slow-moving vehicles, wide loads, tow trucks, security personnel, construction vehicles, etc.); green for volunteer firefighters or for medical personnel, and violet for funerary vehicles. Beacons may be constructed with halogen bulbs similar to those used in vehicle headlamps, xenon flashtubes, or LEDs.[5] Incandescent and xenon light sources require the vehicle's engine to continue running to ensure that the battery is not depleted when the lights are used for a prolonged period. The low power consumption of LEDs allows the vehicle's engine to remain turned off while the lights operate nodes.

Other uses

Beacons and bonfires are also used to mark occasions and celebrate events.

The Mishna describes a system of fire beacons used by the high court in Jerusalem to communicate the declaration of a new month to Jews in Israel and Babylon.[6]

Beacons have also allegedly been abused by shipwreckers. An illicit fire at a wrong position would be used to direct a ship against shoals or beaches, so that its cargo could be looted after the ship sank or ran aground. There are, however, no historically substantiated occurrences of such intentional shipwrecking.

In wireless networks, a beacon is a type of frame which is sent by the access point (or WiFi router) to indicate that it is on.

Bluetooth based beacons periodically send out a data packet and this could be used by software to identify the beacon location. This is typically used by indoor navigation and positioning applications.[7]

Beaconing is the process that allows a network to self-repair network problems. The stations on the network notify the other stations on the ring when they are not receiving the transmissions. Beaconing is used in Token ring and FDDI networks.

In fiction

In Aeschylus' tragedy Agamemnon,[8] a chain of eight beacons manned by so-called lampadóphoroi inform Clytemnestra in Argos, within a single night's time, that Troy has just fallen under her husband king Agamemnon's control, after a famous ten years siege.

In J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings, a series of beacons alerts the entire realm of Gondor when the kingdom is under attack. These beacon posts were manned by messengers who would carry word of their lighting to either Rohan or Belfalas.[9] In Peter Jackson's film adaptation of the novel, the beacons serve as a connection between the two realms of Rohan and Gondor, alerting one another directly when they require military aid, as opposed to relying on messengers as in the novel.

In retail

Beacons are sometimes used in retail to send digital coupons or invites to customers passing by.[10][11]

Types

Infrared beacon

An infrared beacon (IR beacon) transmits a modulated light beam in the infrared spectrum, which can be identified easily and positively. A line of sight clear of obstacles between the transmitter and the receiver is essential. IR beacons have a number of applications in robotics and in Combat Identification (CID).

Infrared beacons are the key infrastructure for the Universal Traffic Management System (UTMS) in Japan. They perform two-way communication with travelling vehicles based on highly directional infrared communication technology and have a vehicle detecting capability to provide more accurate traffic information.[12]

A contemporary military use of an Infrared beacon is reported in Operation Acid Gambit.

Sonar beacon

A sonar beacon is an underwater device which transmits sonic or ultrasonic signals for the purpose of providing bearing information. The most common type is that of a rugged watertight sonar transmitter attached to a submarine and capable of operating independently of the electrical system of the boat. It can be used in cases of emergencies to guide salvage vessels to the location of a disabled submarine.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Foss, Clive (1991). "Beacon". In Kazhdan, Alexander (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford University Press. pp. 273–274. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6.
  2. ^ The National Cyclopaedia of Useful Knowledge, Vol III, (1847) Charles Knight, London, p.25.
  3. ^ Ritchie, Leitch (1835). Scott and Scotland. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longman, p. 53
  4. ^ Els almogávers a la frontera amb el sarrains en el segle XIV. Maria Teresa Ferrer
  5. ^ Bullough, John; Nicholas P Skinner (December 2009). "Evaluation of Light-Emitting Diode Beacon Light Fixtures" (PDF). Lighting Research Center – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2010-06-05.
  6. ^ Mishna Rosh Hashana 2:1-3
  7. ^ "What is a Beacon? - Beacon Basics". Kontakt.io. 2016-09-20. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  8. ^ v. 281 et sqq.
  9. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (2004). The Lord of the Rings (50th Anniversary Edition). The Return of the King. Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 747–748.
  10. ^ Peter Lewis (2016-08-19). "How Beacons Can Reshape Retail Marketing – Think with Google". Thinkwithgoogle.com. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  11. ^ ELON JOURNAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH IN COMMUNICATIONS 2015, VOL. 6 NO. 1
  12. ^ "Infrared Beacon Overview". Universal Traffic Management Society of Japan. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
  13. ^ The ELAC SBE distress sonar beacon
Akron Beacon Journal

The Akron Beacon Journal is a morning newspaper in Akron, Ohio, United States. Owned by GateHouse Media, it is the sole daily newspaper in Akron and is distributed throughout Northeast Ohio. The paper's coverage focuses on local news. The Beacon Journal has won four Pulitzer Prizes: in 1968, 1971, 1987 and 1994.

Beacon, New York

Beacon is a city located in Dutchess County, New York, United States. The 2010 census placed the city total population at 15,541. Beacon is part of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport, New York–New Jersey–Connecticut–Pennsylvania Combined Statistical Area. It was named to commemorate the historic beacon fires that blazed forth from the summit of the Fishkill Mountains to alert the Continental Army about British troop movements. Originally an industrial city along the Hudson, Beacon experienced a revival beginning in 2003 with the arrival of Dia:Beacon, one of the largest modern art museums in the United States. Recent growth has generated debates on development and zoning issues .

The area known as Beacon was settled by Europeans as the villages of Matteawan and Fishkill Landing in 1709. They were among the first colonial communities in the county. Beacon is located in the southwest corner of Dutchess County in the Mid-Hudson Region, approximately 90 miles (140 km) south of Albany, and approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of New York City.

Beacon Falls, Connecticut

Beacon Falls is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut. It lies in the southwestern part of the state, and is bisected by the Naugatuck River. The population was 5,246 at the 2000 census. The population increased to 6,049 at the 2010 census.

Beacon Heights, Edmonton

Beacon Heights is a residential neighbourhood in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that was part of the Town of Beverly before Beverly amalgamated with Edmonton in 1961.

The earliest development in the neighbourhood occurred around 1910, several years before Beverly was incorporated as a town. According to the City of Edmonton's neighbourhood profile for Beacon Heights, one in ten of the residences in the neighbourhood were built by the end of World War II, with half the dwellings being built before Beverly's amalgamation.

Three out of four residences are single-family dwellings, with most of the remainder being split almost equally between apartments in low rise buildings of under five stories and duplexes. Roughly 85% of the single-family dwellings are owner occupied, as are one in four of the duplexes. The remainder are rented.

The neighbourhood is bounded on the south by 118 Avenue, on the west by 50 Street, on the north by 122 Avenue, and on the east by 34 Street.

Jubilee Park is located in Beacon Heights. Jubilee Park is located on the site of the Beverly Coal Mine entrance, and was developed in 1955 as an Alberta Jubilee project.The community is represented by the Beacon Heights Community League, established in 1965, which maintains a community hall and outdoor rink located at 43 Street and 120 Avenue.

Beacon Hill, Boston

Beacon Hill is a historical neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, and the hill upon which the Massachusetts State House resides. The term "Beacon Hill" is locally used as a metonym to refer to the state government or the legislature itself, much like Washington, D.C.'s "Capitol Hill" does at the federal level.

Federal-style rowhouses, narrow gaslit streets and brick sidewalks adorn the neighborhood, which is generally regarded as one of the more desirable and expensive in Boston. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood is 9,023.

Beacon Island (Cumberland Sound, Nunavut)

Beacon Island is an uninhabited island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. It lies in the Cumberland Sound, at the mouth of the Pangnirtung Fiord, near Upajjana Island off Baffin Island's Cumberland Peninsula. Akulagok Island, Aupaluktok Island, Imigen Island, Kekerten Island, Kekertukdjuak Island, Tesseralik Island, Tuapait Island, and Ugpitimik Island are in the vicinity.Three other Beacon Islands exist in Nunavut:

One in Hudson Strait, in the Nascopie Reefs, east of Dorset Island

One in North Bay, Baffin Island, south of Anguttuaq Island

One in Ungava Bay, off Cape Naujaat, on the west side of the mouth of the George River

Beacon Mountain

Beacon Mountain, locally Mount Beacon, is the highest peak of Hudson Highlands, located behind the City of Beacon, New York, in the Town of Fishkill. Its two summits rise above the Hudson River behind the city and can easily be seen from Newburgh across the river and many other places in the region. The more accessible northern peak, at 1,531 feet (467 m) above sea level, has a complex of radio antennas on its summit; the 1,610-foot (491 m) southern summit has a fire lookout tower.

Beacon Reservoir, the city's main water source, is located between North Beacon and neighboring Scofield Ridge, the highest peak in Putnam County. Since much of the land on the mountains and up to the county line is owned by the city to protect the watershed, an extensive system of roads and trails makes it a popular hiking area. Both summits afford extensive views of the mid-Hudson region, and on clear days New York City is visible from the fire tower.

Beacon Press

Beacon Press is an American non-profit book publisher. Founded in 1854 by the American Unitarian Association, it is currently a department of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Beacon Theatre (New York City)

The Beacon Theatre is a historic theater at 2124 Broadway (at West 74th Street) on Broadway in Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York City. The 2,894-seat, three-tiered theatre was designed by Chicago architect Walter W. Ahlschlager and opened in 1929 as a movie palace for motion pictures and vaudeville. Today it is one of New York's leading live music and entertainment venues, under the management of the Madison Square Garden Company. The theater was the site of the 2011, 2012, and 2016 Tony Awards.

Civil Rights Game

The Civil Rights Game was an annual Major League Baseball game that honored the history of civil rights in the United States and marked the unofficial end to the league's spring training.

The first Civil Rights game was played in 2007. The first two games were held at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee. The intent of the game was to "embrace baseball's history of African-American players", as well as to generate interest for future black players, after a demographics survey revealed that the percentage of black players in the league has dwindled over the past twelve years to just 8.4 percent. The survey also gave the diversity of players in Major League Baseball an A+ grade: while African-Americans in the sport since 1996 dropped from 17 percent to 8 percent, the percentage of Hispanic players (many of them blacks from the Caribbean) increased during that period from 20 percent to 29 percent, and Asian and other minorities increased from 1 percent to 3 percent. The percentage of non-Hispanic white players went down from 62 percent to 60 percent during that period. In 2009, the game became a regular season game. It has not been held since 2016, for reasons unknown.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig commented on air during the first Civil Rights game that the 8 percent total for African-Americans was "a problem that needed to be looked at." Associated Press news releases related to the game focused on the drop in African-Americans, and quoted former Cleveland pitcher CC Sabathia on the idea that baseball must do more to promote the game in inner cities, saying, "It's not just a problem—it's a crisis."In conjunction with the Civil Rights Game, Major League Baseball honors three pioneers of civil rights with the Beacon Awards (Beacon of Life Award, Beacon of Change Award and Beacon of Hope Award).

Emergency position-indicating radiobeacon station

An emergency position-indicating radiobeacon station is a distress radiobeacon, a tracking transmitter that is triggered during an accident. These are detected by satellites. The system is monitored by an international consortium of rescue services, COSPAS-SARSAT. The basic purpose of this system is to help rescuers find survivors within the so-called "golden day" (the first 24 hours following a traumatic event) during which the majority of survivors can usually be saved.

The standard frequency of a modern EPIRB is 406-MHz. It is an internationally-regulated mobile radiocommunication service that aids search and rescue operations to detect and locate distressed boats, aircraft, and people. It is distinct from a Satellite emergency position-indicating radiobeacon station.

The first form of these beacons was the 121.500 MHz ELT, which was designed as an automatic locator beacon for crashed military aircraft. These beacons were first used in the 1950s by the U.S. military and were mandated for use on many types of commercial and general aviation aircraft beginning in the early 1970s. The frequency and signal format used by the ELT beacons was not designed for satellite detection, which resulted in a system with poor location detection abilities and with long delays in detection of activated beacons. The satellite detection network was built after the ELT beacons were already in general use, with the first satellite not being launched until 1982, and even then, the satellites only provided detection, with location accuracy being roughly 20 km. The technology was later expanded to cover use on vessels at sea (EPIRB), individual persons (PLB and, starting in 2016, MSLD). All have migrated from using 121.500 MHz as their primary frequency to using 406 MHz, which was designed for satellite detection and location.Since the inception of Cospas-Sarsat in 1982, distress radiobeacons have assisted in the rescue of over 28,000 people in more than 7,000 distress situations. In 2010 alone, the system provided information used to rescue 2,388 persons in 641 distress situations.The type of radiobeacons is determined by the environment for which it was designed to be used:

ELTs (emergency locator transmitters) signal aircraft distress

EPIRBs (emergency position-indicating radio beacons) signal maritime distress

SEPIRBs (submarine emergency position-indicating radio beacons) are EPIRBs designed only for use on submarines

SSASes (ship security alert system) are used to indicate possible piracy or terrorism attacks on sea-going vessels

PLBs (personal locator beacons) are for personal use and are intended to indicate a person in distress who is away from normal emergency services; e.g., 9-1-1. They are also used for crewsaving applications in shipping and lifeboats at terrestrial systems. In New South Wales, some police stations and the National Parks and Wildlife Service provide personal locator beacons to hikers for no charge.Distress alerts transmitted from ELTs, EPIRBs, SSASes, and PLBs, are received and processed by the International Cospas-Sarsat Programme, the international satellite system for search and rescue (SAR). These beacons transmit a 0.5 second burst of data every 50 seconds, varying over a span of 2.5 seconds to avoid multiple beacons always transmitting at the same time.

When manually activated, or automatically activated upon immersion or impact, such beacons send out a distress signal. The signals are monitored worldwide and the location of the distress is detected by non-geostationary satellites using the Doppler effect for trilateration, and in more recent EPIRBs also by GPS.Loosely related devices, including search and rescue transponders (SART), AIS-SART, avalanche transceivers, and RECCO do not operate on 406 MHz and are thus covered in separate articles.

List of National Historic Landmarks in Boston

This is a list of National Historic Landmarks in Boston, Massachusetts. It includes 57 properties and districts designated as National Historic Landmarks in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Another 131 National Historic Landmarks are located in the remaining parts of the state of Massachusetts.

National Register of Historic Places listings in northern Boston

Boston, Massachusetts is home to a large number of listings on the National Register of Historic Places. This list encompasses those locations that are located north of the Massachusetts Turnpike. See National Register of Historic Places listings in southern Boston for listings south of the Turnpike. Properties and districts located elsewhere in Suffolk County's other three municipalities are also listed separately.

There are 324 properties and districts listed on the National Register in Suffolk County, including 58 National Historic Landmarks. The northern part of the city of Boston is the location of 147 of these properties and districts, including 44 National Historic Landmarks.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019.

Newburgh–Beacon Bridge

The Hamilton Fish Newburgh–Beacon Bridge is a cantilever toll bridge that spans the Hudson River in New York State. The bridge carries Interstate 84 (I-84) and New York State Route 52 (NY 52) between Newburgh and Beacon. Consisting of two separate spans, the original northern span which carries westbound traffic, was opened on November 2, 1963, as a two-lane (one in each direction) bridge. A second span completed in 1980, now carries all eastbound traffic. Still often referred to by its original name, the Newburgh–Beacon Bridge, in 1997 the bridge was rededicated in honor of Hamilton Fish who was a Governor of New York, Lieutenant Governor, United States Senator from New York, U.S. Secretary of State, and a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 6th congressional district.

Non-directional beacon

A non-directional (radio) beacon (NDB) is a radio transmitter at a known location, used as an aviation or marine navigational aid. As the name implies, the signal transmitted does not include inherent directional information, in contrast to other navigational aids such as low frequency radio range, VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) and TACAN. NDB signals follow the curvature of the Earth, so they can be received at much greater distances at lower altitudes, a major advantage over VOR. However, NDB signals are also affected more by atmospheric conditions, mountainous terrain, coastal refraction and electrical storms, particularly at long range.

The Wichita Eagle

The Wichita Eagle is a daily newspaper published in Wichita, Kansas, United States. It is owned by The McClatchy Company and is the largest newspaper in Wichita and the surrounding area.

Transponder (aeronautics)

A transponder (short for transmitter-responder and sometimes abbreviated to XPDR, XPNDR, TPDR or TP) is an electronic device that produces a response when it receives a radio-frequency interrogation. Aircraft have transponders to assist in identifying them on air traffic control radar. Collision avoidance systems have been developed to use transponder transmissions as a means of detecting aircraft at risk of colliding with each other.Air traffic control units use the term "squawk" when they are assigning an aircraft a transponder code, e.g., "Squawk 7421". Squawk thus can be said to mean "select transponder code" or "squawking xxxx" to mean "I have selected transponder code xxxx".The transponder receives interrogation from the Secondary Surveillance Radar on 1030 MHz and replies on 1090 MHz.

Tribune Publishing

Tribune Publishing Company (formerly Tronc, Inc.) is an American newspaper print and online media publishing company based in Chicago, Illinois. The company's portfolio includes the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, The Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, South Florida's Sun-Sentinel, the Hartford Courant, additional titles in Pennsylvania and Virginia, syndication operations, and websites. It also publishes several local newspapers in its metropolitan regions, which are organized in subsidiary groups. It is the nation's third-largest newspaper publisher (behind Gannett and The McClatchy Company), with eleven daily newspapers and commuter tabloids throughout the United States.

Incorporated in 1847 with the founding of the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Publishing operated as a division of the Tribune Company, a Chicago-based multimedia conglomerate, until it was spun off into a separate public company in August 2014.

On June 20, 2016, the company adopted the name tronc, short for "Tribune online content". Its principal shareholder, with a 17.9% stake, is the American business magnate Michael W. Ferro, Jr. In 2016 The New York Times described him as being "one of the country’s most significant and unpredictable media moguls". In 2018, Tronc announced that it would sell its California papers, including the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune and other smaller titles in the California News Group to an investment firm headed by Patrick Soon-Shiong for US$500 million. The sale closed on June 18, 2018. In October 2018, the company reverted again to the name, Tribune Publishing.

University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, UT Knoxville, UTK, or UT) is a public research university in Knoxville, Tennessee. Founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee became the 16th state, it is the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee system, with ten undergraduate colleges and eleven graduate colleges. It hosts almost 28,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. In its 2019 universities ranking, U.S. News & World Report ranked UT 115th among all national universities and 52nd among public institutions of higher learning. Seven alumni have been selected as Rhodes Scholars. James M. Buchanan, M.S. '41, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics. UT's ties to nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, established under UT President Andrew Holt and continued under the UT–Battelle partnership, allow for considerable research opportunities for faculty and students.

Also affiliated with the university are the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, and the University of Tennessee Arboretum, which occupies 250 acres (100 ha) of nearby Oak Ridge and features hundreds of species of plants indigenous to the region. The university is a direct partner of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, which is one of two Level I trauma centers in East Tennessee.

The University of Tennessee is the only university in the nation to have three presidential papers editing projects. The university holds collections of the papers of all three U.S. presidents from Tennessee—Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson. UT is one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the oldest secular institution west of the Eastern Continental Divide.

Transmission methods
Notable signals
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History
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