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RF Shorts for March 8, 2013

Another Look at Globalstar's 2.5 GHz Proposal
Tim Fernholz examines Globalstar's plans for its 2.5 GHz spectrum in his article Could a satellite company decongest American Wi-Fi and save itself in the process? on the Quartz Website. He writes, “Two years ago, John Dooley, an engineer and investor who co-founded Jarvinian, a venture fund that invests in wireless technology, approached Globalstar about a missed opportunity to make money. Globalstar licenses wireless spectrum to communicate with its satellites, but doesn’t use nearly all of it. Dooley told them that the 'best use of your spectrum' would be on earth: Expanding Wi-Fi, effectively a three-lane highway, into a four-lane express.”

Read more about it in his article and, if you missed them, check out my articles on Globalstar's proposal: Globalstar Proposal Could Impact 2 GHz ENG Channels and Globalstar Wi-Fi Spectrum Plan Draws Fire.

New Indoor Antenna Tackles 4G Interference
Naomi Mackay covers a possible solution to the problem of new 4G networks causing interference to TV reception in central London and other large U.K. cities in her article One For All: Indoor Aerials to Tackle 4G Interference at The solution is the 'One for All' SV9395 amplified indoor antenna that includes a 4G LTE filter and a GSM-block filter. While the filters sound like a good idea, I'm not so sure the “Amplifier up to 51 dB” will help much. It sounds like an invitation to receiver overland and intermodulation. It’s worth watching to see how the United Kingdom is handling 4G and GSM interference to TV reception, as we're likely to see problems with that in the United States as more of the 700 MHz spectrum is built out and wireless broadband moves into 600 MHz TV spectrum after the incentive auctions and repacking.

I covered the UK interference issues in my article New U.K. 4G Net Causes TV Reception Problems – Filters may not resolve interference difficulties and U.S. interference in my RF Technology column 4G Interference to UHF DTV.

Maine Legislature Sets EMP Defense Standard
We've become more dependent on electrical power grids and as a result more vulnerable to a natural or man-made electromagnetic force pulse (EMP) attack. A nuclear explosion could be designed to cause little damage to structures, but generate an EMP that would damage or destroy exposed electronic devices and power distribution networks. A huge solar storm could also hurl charged particles at Earth and damage power grids. covers the threat and potential solutions in Maine setting standard for EMP defense – Legislature working to protect against event that could change civilization The article states: “In one of the more controversial sections, the legislation would require that any transmission line currently under construction would need to incorporate those types of protections, an idea that drew the protests of utilities in the state and region. But in a recent all-day session, the committee heard from experts on EMP who said a natural EMP event from a geomagnetic superstorm is one of only eight ‘black swan’ events that could change the course of civilization.”

One of the experts testifying before the Maine Legislature was Dr. Peter Vincent Fry, former the staff director of the EMP Commission mandated by Congress. He noted: “If a Carrington Event recurred today, given the current state of unpreparedness, the EMP Commission assessed that electric grids could collapse everywhere on Earth, causing a protracted planetary blackout, endangering the lives of billions (of people) worldwide.”

Fry also warned that terrorists and rogue states could create an EMP catastrophe in the United States by launching a “primitive” nuclear missile from a ship near U.S. shores and detonating the warhead at a high-altitude over the country. According to the EMP Commission, this could cripple the nation’s electric distribution grid and other critical infrastructures such as communications, transportation, banking and finance, along with distribution of food and water, killing about two-thirds of the American population from starvation, disease and societal collapse.

The WND article has more on the threat and what needs to be done to reduce the impact of an EMP attack, wherever it comes from.

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