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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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A four-inch VLF antenna offers a solution to underground radio emissions

Typically, by now we have the ability to access voice and data networks virtually anywhere in the world. The difficult thing today is not having coverage, but not having access to it (we’re not talking about quality, be careful).

However, there are situations in which certain radio signals do not reach their destination, and now a group of researchers has developed an antenna for VLF (Very Low Frequency) transmissions that could help especially in underground rescues and military missions.

Underground and underwater emissions that could save lives

Those responsible for this project have been scientists from the United States Department of Energy, and specifically those responsible for the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

His invention consists of a four-inch high antenna with a unique configuration that is capable of emitting VLF radiation. These types of emissions can travel thousands of kilometers away, but even more important is their ability to penetrate even tens or hundreds of meters of land and water.

There were already antennas of this type, but it had never been possible to make them so compact, something that would allow creating small portable transmitters that could be used in missions of all kinds in underground and even aquatic environments.

According to the SLAC team, this antenna is capable of producing VLS radiation 300 times more efficient than previous developments and also achieving a bandwidth 100 times higher, which for example will allow sending short text messages. It won’t work for watching 4K movies, but it may be for something more important: saving lives.

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