CELL PHONE SIGNALS ABSORBED BY WATER

DROPPED SIGNALS1

YouTube video experiments to explain cell phone signals absorbed by water and cell tower RF absorbed by water:

 

The following article, “Dropped Signals”,  is from WaterCanada’s March/April 2013 magazine issue.
What do phone calls have to do with raindrops?  Water absorbs cell phone signals.  RAINFALL ATTENUATESBased on that premise, a group of researchers in the Netherlands set out to see if cellular network data, collected over several days, could give an accurate estimate of how much rain fell in an area.  They found that data from the cell networks closely matched ground-based observations.
ATTENUATION BETWEEN CELL TOWERS“For a long time — decades, even from the sixties — we’ve known that rainfall can attenuate signals in telecommunication, but microwave links from cellular communication networks are of course relatively new,” AART OVEREEMsays Aart Overeem, weather service research and development, Wageningen University.  His team’s research builds upon previous research from Israel and the Netherlands.
Here’s how it works.  MOBILE PHONE ANTENNAS“Electromagnetic signals are transmitted from the antenna of one telephone tower to the antenna of another telephone tower,” says Overeem.  “In case of rainfall the signal is attenuated, which can be seen from a decrease in the received signal power at one end of such a microwave link.  From the decrease in the received signal level during rainy weather compared to the signal level during dry weather, the path-averaged rainfall intensity between the antennas can be estimated.”
WEATHER DATAOvereem says that networks could be used to gauge important climate rainfall data, especially in areas without ground based monitoring, which includes rain gauges and weather radar data.
Rainfall estimates from cellular communication networks could help to improve the number of surface rainfall observations, which could become important for agriculture and food production, water management, climate monitoring, et cetera,” says Overeem, who emphasizes that microwave link data are not meant to as a replacement, but as an addition to existing observational systems.

U of WATERLOOThe University of Waterloo has done similar work using GPS signals.

FRANK SEGLENIEKSFor an interview with Dr. Frank Seglenieks, UW’s weather station coordinator, visit watercanada.net.
—Staff

RAINFALL_MICROWAVE TOWER

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