Radio noise maps show where emergency communications could get tricky27-10-2019
Researchers have created a street-level map of disruptive radio noise in Boston, they report in a new study. The study's findings suggest radio noise, which could obstruct first response or military communications, is persistent in urban environments and knowing its patterns could help make communications more reliable. "Having a map of where highly intense noise regions are can help you understand why your communications aren't working," said Daniel Breton, a geophysicist at the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire and lead author of the new study in AGU's journal Radio Science. "If you have that map and you're struggling with communications, wouldn't it be great to know 'I can move 50 meters down the street and be in the clear' or 'this particular neighborhood is notorious for noise sources, we need to get on a rooftop'?" Breton said. The new study presents a map showing where such radio noise exists at street level in Boston, which could help ensure radios or satellite phones will operate in critical situations and let emergency response teams know what spots to avoid.
Few studies have characterized potential radio interference at such a small scale. Previous work relied on measurements from static locations or aircraft, which provided a fixed estimation of noise in a specific area, sometimes an entire city. But buildings, for example, can block some radio waves—or generate it themselves—and might influence where noise is found.
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