Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Water Antenna

PostedAugust 21, 2011

Download File (mp3)

 

Randy Atkins: Since salt water conducts electricity, Navy electrical engineer Daniel Tam thought…. 

Daniel Tam: …maybe I can utilize the sea water as my antenna element.

Randy Atkins: After a trip to Home Depot, Tam connected a device called a “current probe” to a radio and pumped a vertical stream of water through it.

Daniel Tam: On the ships the fire hose easily can generate a stream at least 100 feet in the air.

Randy Atkins: It worked. Height determines frequency and…

Daniel Tam: I can transfer more information using a thicker water stream. 

Randy Atkins: Just turn the water off and the antennas disappear when not in use. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

ANCHOR TAG
The system will likely take at least a decade of development and testing before being deployed.