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Communications The Military Wireless Networking Technology

Antenna-Clothing Outperforms Regular Antennas 70

Posted by timothy
from the why-there-are-parkas dept.
Zothecula writes with a snippet from Gizmag: "In the recent past, we've seen outfits that incorporate bio-sensors and batteries, and even a bikini with integrated solar cells. One of the latest innovations in smart fabrics, however, allows a person's clothing to act as multiple antennas. Developed at Ohio State University, the system could prove particularly useful to soldiers, who don't want to be encumbered by a protruding whip antenna."
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Antenna-Clothing Outperforms Regular Antennas

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  • Dare ya (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday August 28, 2011 @11:41AM (#37234422)
    I dare you to try to board an airplane while wearing one.
  • Clarification (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    When the summary refers to a whip antenna, it means a ducky antenna on a handheld radio, as worn on a belt like police tend to do, not the large old style military whip/backpack thing I pictured first, nor do they compare it to a handheld radio held at face level (used without shoulder mic). So, although it makes an improvement over usual law enforcement radio, its not an astonishing discovery by any means, as similar gains can be made by holding the handheld in a usual talking position.

    For those with IEEE

    • by Gordonjcp (186804)

      Stubby helical aerials on radios work pretty badly, and they just plain don't work at all when you've got a stubby on a handheld that's clipped to your belt.

      I wonder how poor performance will be when the aerial is pressed up against a big wet conductive thing?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by NouberNou (1105915)
      Actually no, they still use VHF whip antennas quite often in the US military. The SINCGARS frequency hopping system is in the 30 to 87.975MHz range and the ideal antenna length for this range is in the 1 to 2 meter area. Luckily these whips can be folded down and do not actually take up much space when traveling, but of course that inhibits their gain quite a bit.

      Even the UHF band that most military coms occurs on has a roughly 13" ideal antenna length. SATURN and HAVE QUICK I/II are in the UHF band only
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      5 meter and 6 meter communications is still very common in military. It's a band that is highly effective for longer range ground communication without the use of satellites or repeaters.

    • Not only that, but it looks like what they're really doing is comparing 4-fold diversity at the receiver to a single conventional receive antenna. That's not a balanced comparison from the communications standpoint. Obviously it could make multiple receive antennas at low RF frequencies more practical though.
  • Reinventing the cantenna.
  • I hope they are talking about receiving antennas. I'm pretty sure I don't want a emf generating jockey shorts. But maybe one sewn onto a backpack wouldn't be so bad. Better than carrying a cell phone in my pocket.
    • by X0563511 (793323)

      You do know there's a large difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation right? This stuff is on the wrong side of the spectrum to be causing you such problems.

      The absolute worst you might get is some heat from absorption.

      • by scheme (19778)

        You do know there's a large difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation right? This stuff is on the wrong side of the spectrum to be causing you such problems.

        The absolute worst you might get is some heat from absorption.

        You know that just because the radiation doesn't cause damage to the DNA doesn't mean that it won't negatively influence cell growth and division right? Magnetic fields have been shown to influence cell division and growth rates and although the current studies used relatively high magnetic fields, smaller fields or other EM radiation may also have effects on cell growth and health.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          My point here is that simple sunlight or heat from... say your household heater is more energetic than a typical handheld radio? You don't seem to grasp the fact that light (including radiated heat) and radio is the same damn thing, except the radio is less energetic!

  • We have already been told keeping the antenna close to the ears for long hours can provoke cancer etc. Now getting multiple antennas essentially as close as it is possible to get without an implant. How will this change the cancer statistics etc. in the next few years?

    Has safety been considered at all?

  • That has the potential to be shocking.

  • ...now THERE's a novel idea!

    Remember the Solar Powered Propeller hat?

    Picture this:

    Two boo...err...one bikini, solar powered of course, with two propellers...

    Nuff said!

  • Joke (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Two antennae met on a roof, fell in love and decided to get married.
    The ceremony wasn't much but the reception was excellent!
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @12:33PM (#37234814) Homepage Journal

    Putting a bag of salt water in the near field of an antenna would be expected to increase losses and detune it.

    • by Mr_Perl (142164) *

      Actually salt water can provide a far better return path for rf energy than air, so depending on the frequency (I'm assuming super high) of the signal, it could be pretty good.

      Not sure how I'd feel about my ugly bag of mostly water being a return path for high frequency radio though.

    • It performs better because it has a whole bunch of antennas all over their body and can select the one that has the best performance at any given moment. Being able to choose one in the best spot is sometimes better than having a single efficient antenna. Of course, strapping 50 whip antennas to yourself would perform better than either a single whip or the antennasuit alone. Just don't try to move through bushes or interact with humans.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "That RF is funny stuff."

  • At least use the correct name.
  • Until they're just pink in the middle..

  • by Hell O'World (88678) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @03:35PM (#37236140)

    * Googles "bikini with integrated solar cells" *

    • by Luyseyal (3154)

      Looking at those things brings all kinds of weirdness to mind... "Can I jack in to your bikini to charge my iPod?"

      -l

  • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @04:59PM (#37236702) Journal

    I think anyone who's had a TV that used rabbit ears and you had a channel or 2 that always seem to come in better when your touching the antenna's won't be surprised that clothes with antenna's built in would work better then normal antenna's.

    • by xded (1046894)
      It's just a matter of tuning... If you happen to have a channel that is received better when you're close or touching the antenna, try shortening a bit the dipole and then move away. Shortening the antenna makes it slightly capacitive, almost the same effect your body has on it.
  • Bikini with solar cells [solarcoterie.com]

    9 weirdest ways to harness solar power [ecofriend.com]: features a full-body swimsuit, a bra and a skimpy dress.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @05:51PM (#37237010) Journal
    about having clothing designed with the idea that it is for our troops, but being done by Chinese. I mean how many Americans are over in China designing military equipment and will bring it back here? None.
  • Correction: that's The Ohio State University to you.
  • Soldiers in the field do a lot of harsh and demanding things to their equipment, like crawling through swamps, and jumping out of airplanes, so will this tech be strong enough to endure such conditions?

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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