Mainland High School
Suitable for a Disaster: ISTF 08-1835
Microwave Communication
Microwaves are one type of high frequency electromagnetic radiation that has been used for communication purposes since the advent of wireless communication. By using a stream of linear radio waves in the microwave frequency, data can be transferred wirelessly over great distances. This is the main principle behind radios and more importantly cell phones. These waves have been traditionally generated by quartz crystal oscillators, however, micro-oscillators may soon be a better alternative. Crystal oscillators are created by piezoelectric crystals vibrating to create a signal at a very precise frequency.

Microwaves are a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from 10 centimeters, 300 MHz, to 1 millimeter, 300 GHz. ISM bands, are located in a special region of the spectrum reserved for industrial, scientific, and medical applications.

The name Micro-Oscillators implies really tiny microwave oscillators. More than one hundred times smaller than the current technology used in cell phone Micro-Oscillators can be used as a cheap small alternative. They work by having two small magnetic films separated by a non-magnetic strip of copper; the electrons coming into one film all have their spin oriented in the same direction. Once the second film enters, they reverse the polarity of the second film very quickly. The switching magnetic poles oscillate very fast to generate the microwave signal.

image courtesy of NIST

NIST experiments recently confirmed predictions made by Carnegie Mellon theorists in 1966. These oscillators can have applications in wireless technologies such as internet access and cell phones. The micro-oscillator waves travel linearly to an antennae where they are received and interpreted.

They could be applied to our project as the mechanism by which the suits communicate with the balloons at the mobile base.


PhysLink - Cell Phone Still Too Big? Micro-Oscillators May Help

NIST Tech Beat - Cell Phone Still Too Big? Micro-Oscillators May Help

Terabeam - Planning a Microwave Radio Link

Some Aspects Related to the ISM Band, especially Medical

QIAJ - What's Quartz Crystal Device

Western University - Anemone Research Unit

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