HOW POTATOES ADVANCED WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY

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Tizer
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HOW POTATOES ADVANCED WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY

Post by Tizer » 01 Apr 2013, 09:46

An interesting way of testing wireless technology in passenger aircraft...

The most commonly used frequencies for wireless technology are partly absorbed by animal body tissues and fluids. This doesn't matter in the home but in a passenger airliner packed with people their bodies obstruct Wi-Fi and mobile phone communications. The mixture of water and salts in the human body acts as a dielectric material, absorbing particularly well in the 2.4 to 5.0GHz bands used for wireless networking and some mobile phone signals. Wi-Fi is already in use in more than 1,600 aircraft that fly over the USA so companies like Boeing and Airbus have taken a great interest in developing kit that allows such communications in crowded aircraft.

They use computer modelling and human testing in aircraft cabins to simulate different conditions and determine how to design and position antennae. But they would have had to herd in hundreds of stand-in passengers into a test aircraft for days on end, which was obviously impractical. So in December Boeing announced an alternative method using sacks of potatoes! Placed on airplane seats the potatoes affect Wi-Fi signals in the same way that people do.

Known as the Synthetic Personnel Using Dielectric Substitution (SPUDS) project, the potatoes mimicked human bodies using 9 tons of the tubers. Boeing says the spuds allowed them to detect hot spots and dead zones in coverage quickly and accurately - and the potatoes were then donated to a food bank and Boeing could rightfully claim "No potatoes were harmed in these experiments"!

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Re: HOW POTATOES ADVANCED WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY

Post by Tripps » 01 Apr 2013, 10:54

Just don't ask me to eat them afterwards. Far too highly radiated. :smile:
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: HOW POTATOES ADVANCED WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY

Post by Pluggy » 01 Apr 2013, 12:33

Unfortunate timing Tizer. :)
Its a pity to get this bundled in with the decimal time rubbish.
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Re: HOW POTATOES ADVANCED WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY

Post by Tizer » 01 Apr 2013, 14:22

Pluggy wrote:Unfortunate timing Tizer. :)
Its a pity to get this bundled in with the decimal time rubbish.
I deliberately chose to post it now, wondering whether it would get picked up as an April fool's joke by mistake!

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Re: HOW POTATOES ADVANCED WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY

Post by Stanley » 02 Apr 2013, 04:49

Fascinating and makes complete sense. Down to earth solution to a difficult problem and a lovely example of the efficacy of the KISS principle....
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