Posted in | News | Signal Processing

Movable Airborne Antennas to Overcome Electromagnetic Field Exposure

Movable airborne antennas that are capable of receiving cellphone signals can lower the EMF exposure meanwhile providing increased data transmission speed at lower power consumption.

Movable Airborne Antennas to Overcome Electromagnetic Field Exposure.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com/ GaudiLab

A quicker and eco-friendly alternative to receiving terrestrial base stations is a mobile tethered drone that also reduces public concerns regarding exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Zhengying Lou, a master’s student, and Ahmed Elzanaty, postdoc and distinguished professor Mohamed-Slim Alouini of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), have suggested a solution to resolve the widespread public concern about the EMF exposure from mobile networks.

It is mainly a problem of perception. but this concern has led to attempts to destroy signaling towers, especially those associated with the 5G network.

Ahmed Elzanaty, Postdoc, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Elzanaty highlights that the recent experiments on animals relate some adverse health issues with long-term exposure to EMF, at a higher intensity when compared to the cellphone networks. Considering the prevalent public concerns, overcoming this problem might be commercially and reputationally beneficial for mobile signal providers.

According to Elzanaty, even though public concerns are related to the exposure to EMF from network base stations, the towers situated on high buildings are dotted across the rural landscape. The EMF exposure caused by the radiation of mobile phones can be much higher than that from base stations.

The researchers suggested that the tethered unmanned aerial vehicles (TUAVs) would serve only to receive these signals, reducing the uplink exposure of the users, which is the exposure from the mobile base station.

The researchers propose a network of ground stations on the top of buildings in urban environments, offering both power and broadband data links to the TUAVs. The capacity to shift the TUAVs on any kind of requirement will enable them to lower the power needs from mobile phones by being closer to these phones and also to adjust their position to stay in line with the changing patterns of the user movement.

The areas enveloped by cell phone signals can change remarkably at different times of the day as the number of commuters increases in the city centers who return home in the evening.

The KAUST team has designed a complicated computational algorithm capable of optimizing the changing locations for the proposed antennas.

Although the TUAVs would be closer to the users than the base stations, they would employ existing technology of low power ‘green antennas’ that only receive signals and so do not radiate any EMF.

Zhengying Lou, Master’s Student, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

The system also provides a remarkable elevation in data transfer speed. Researchers have already applied for a patent in the United States for their innovation and its computer control algorithm. The team expects to grab significant commercial potential.

While research into possible risks of EMF exposure continues, our novel airborne green antennas-based architecture could allow the race towards new 6G mobile systems to continue while decreasing the exposure to EMF.

Ahmed Elzanaty, Postdoc, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Journal Reference:

Lou, Z., et al. (2021) Green Tethered UAVs for EMF-Aware Cellular Networks. IEEE Transactions on Green Communications and Networking. doi.org/10.1109/TGCN.2021.3102086.

Source: https://www.kaust.edu.sa/en

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Submit