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Where Earth and Space Technologies Meet Is Focus Prof. Razani's New Book
A young boy growing up in Iran, Mohammad Razani was fascinated with space travel and its potential to benefit humans. His passion has shaped his career and his scholarship, inspiring the publication of his new book, Information, Communication, and Space Technology (CRC Press, 2012).
His new book breaks ground in a previously unexplored area – the juncture of information communications technology (ICT) and space technology. No single book until now has focused on the integration of these two areas, its impact on human life, and the implications for our future, according to Razani, who is chairperson of the Department of Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering Technology at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York.
Not a textbook, Information, Communication, and Space Technology is useful for students, professionals and anyone eager to know about existing and emerging trends in ICT and space technology. The book also reveals some surprising applications of the combined forces of ICT and space technology in education, government, healthcare, the environment, commerce, agriculture and employment. Developments in space technology also enable advances in navigation and nanotechnology. Says Razani, “In pharmaceutical sciences and medicine, for example, space-based research has helped develop new cancer treatment drugs.”
The author’s rare combination of expertise provides his unique perspective. Razani, who grew up in Tehran, has over three decades of research and hands-on experience in electrical engineering, telecommunications, satellite communications, microwave remote sensing and ICT, and is a founding member of City Tech’s recently established Center for Remote Sensing and Earth System Sciences.
For more than 12 years, Razani was vice chairman of several study groups at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency which coordinates shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in developing countries and establishes worldwide standards.
He also formerly managed the Satellite Communications Department of the Telecommunication Company in Iran. Previously, while teaching in the graduate electrical engineering program at Amir Kabir Technical University in Tehran, he also was CEO of Satellite Equipment Production and Services (SEPAS), which provided design and installation of satellite dish antennas. (“Sepas” in Persian means “thank you.”)
Yet Razani’s initial attraction to the idea of space travel was inspired by a tenth-century Persian poet. “I first became interested in space through a story by Hakim Ferdowsi about Kai Kawus, an ancient Persian king,” says Razani. “He wanted to invade heaven with a flying craft.”
Where the king failed, NASA succeeded. Its research laboratories have generated such ideas as "rocketless" spacecraft launches and a global energy distribution system using satellites to collect solar energy, then transmit it to different locations worldwide through microwave beams.
Razani’s book discusses that agency’s future plans for space-based action in robotics, telerobotics and systems for life support, habitation, sensing and thermal management.
“Space technology creates a stronger platform for scientific advancements,” explains Razani, “including some research that cannot be performed on Earth. The International Space Station provides an environment that facilitates research and experiments in medicine, biology, engineering, material science, fundamental physics, firefighting, climate, automobile fuel efficiency and other fields.”
Though many applications of space technology already are in use by the general population, such as weather forecasting, telemedicine, distance education and location finding through Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) systems, Information, Communication, and Space Technology gives a window into seemingly unlimited possibilities for improving life on Earth.
Dr. Razani joined the City Tech faculty in 2001. Currently, he teaches a course titled “Satellite Transmission,” in addition to performing the duties of chairperson of his department. He also is the author of a Persian language book, Satellite Communications: Principles and Applications.