Our July meeting, held at Voice of America (VOA), focused on the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) transmission network. IBB is the agency that provides all transmission services for US international broadcasting including VOA, Radio Marti, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Network, and others. This global network consists of over 80 transmitting sites delivering high frequency, medium wave (AM), FM, and TV broadcasts, as well as leased broadcast time at 23 transmitting facilities in 14 countries.
Guest speaker Gerhard Straub outlined the IBB transmission network throughout the world that combined photographs, videos, and professional insights into the challenges of international broadcasting and program distribution. Following his discussion, VOA's Carl Swanson conducted a tour the vast, impressive studio and technical facilities at Voice of America.
Following dinner, Chapter Chair Kent Kramer updated attendees on SBE news. EAS guru Eric Hoehn provided an update on recent progress with a soon-to-be published Washington DC Metro EAS plan.
Gerhard Straub, P.E. is the director of the International Broadcasting Bureau’s Broadcast Technologies Division which is responsible for the conceptualization, coverage analysis, design, and construction of all AM, FM, terrestrial TV, and shortwave transmitting facilities of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), worldwide. This division is also responsible for scheduling of all BBG shortwave transmissions, representing the BBG at international frequency conferences, and for implementation and operation of the BBG worldwide automated remote monitoring system.
Prior to joining VOA/IBB, Mr. Straub was a senior engineer with the broadcast consulting engineering firm of Hammett & Edison, Inc., where he was involved in many facets of radio and television transmission systems, RF propagation studies, and RF radiation hazard analyses for domestic and international broadcast clients and networks. He has also worked in the defense sector, including working with electronic countermeasures (communications jamming) and unmanned aerial vehicles. He has authored the chapters titled “Radio Wave Propagation” in The Electronics Handbook and The RF Transmission System Handbook, both published by CRC Press, as well as co-authored the chapters “Antenna Coupling and Phasing Systems for AM Broadcasting” and “Maintenance of AM Broadcast Antenna Systems” in the 9th edition of the National Association of Broadcasters, NAB Engineering Handbook.