Beyond Radio Broadcasting Owain Anderson P11260691
One of the most commonly accepted uses of radio waves is in the radio that most people listen to everyday. However the use of radio waves is much more widespread than that, and also much more varied In this presentation a few of these uses and methods will be investigated in more detail.
Radio waves make up one end of the electromagnetic spectrum. They have the longest wavelength (up to 100km) compared other types, such as infrared or microwaves. As such, they are suited for transmitting signals over long distances, for purposes of communication between transmitter and receiver. Radio waves on the electromagnetic spectrum
Cordless phones Garage door openers Wireless networks Radio-controlled toys Television broadcasts Cell phones GPS receivers Ham radios Satellite communications Police radios Wireless clocks(Brain, 2000)
These are networks of interconnected computers or mobile devices which, as the name suggests, do not require wires or cables to communicate with one another. Instead these networks generally use radio waves to send signals to each other. There are various types of wireless networks, most depending on the size of the network created. The implementation of wireless networks has had a visible impact on the world we live in, with almost all electronic devices released in recent years having had some form of wireless connectivity in-built. The public has grown increasingly dependent on wireless networking with 98% of people who responded to some connection-based surveys stating that they use Wi-Fi daily, with many expecting it to be built into a device that they purchase (Devicescape 2011).
Bluetooth is primarily used to Wi-Fi is technically a brand name transmit data wirelessly over very for any device that adheres to the short distances in an ad-hoc IEEE 802.11 standard. network, with communicating Although it seems to have a devices often being close enough similar purpose to Bluetooth, in for a person to be holding both of that it connects devices over a them. fairly limited range, Wi-Fi is It is used more frequently now than meant to replace the older infrared communication as that standard Local Area Network, traditionally relies on line-of-sight that would use Ethernet cables to communicate with another with PCs and laptops. device, whereas the radio waves in Wi-Fi also uses more power than Bluetooth technology negate this Bluetooth, allowing it to have a need to a certain extent. larger range from the router. One advantage that Bluetooth also This also means that data can be has is that, despite its relatively transferred much faster due to a narrow frequency range (2402 to higher bit rate. 2480 MHz), communicating devices rarely interfere with each other as However, Wi-Fi has been the frequency hops across 79 criticised in the past for having different bands in that range, security protocols that were around 1,600 times a second. easily decrypted, leaving data vulnerable to anyone.
Mobile phone networks work on a cell based system. Wherever coverage is supplied, the area is separated into cells, each with their own base station. The cell network is needed because of the limited amount of radio frequencies available. By creating nearby cells of differing frequencies, the same ones can be used much further away where there is no worry of interference. When a phone call is made, the phone transmits signals via radio waves to the nearest base station, which then sends that signal to the base station nearest to the phone that is being contacted.
Mobile phones have possibly changed the world with their ability to allow anyone to contact anyone at anytime. The number of people who have access to them has risen dramatically since their commercial introduction in the early 1980s. It is said that in many countries, there are often more mobile phones than people. In some ways this has many positive effects on the world, in terms of safety. For instance, one could contact emergency services whenever they needed to, even if they were far away from a town or city. On the other hand there have been several worries about extended use of mobile phones, such as the risk of cancer from the absorption of radio waves to the brain. Issues have also arisen with the constant use of mobile phones when driving or in other tasks that require concentration, as it may cause fatal accidents. Many of the health-related enquiries have been so far inconclusive though.
Initially an acronym for ‘RAdio Detection And Ranging’ in WW2, radar is now commonplace in our lives, and is used for a wide variety of tasks. Radar functions through the emitting of radio waves, which reflect off an object and are then detected by some sort of receiver. Using this signal, the distance of an object can then be calculated from various different factors, such as the time taken for the signal to return.
As previously stated, the uses of radar are widespread, each with their own value. The initial usage of radar involved detecting aircraft in World War 2, a practice that radar is still used for today, to great effect. Similarly, at sea, radar is used to detect ships and other objects that would be hard to find otherwise. In terms of outer space, radar is used to detect extra- terrestrial objects such as asteroids and other planets. It is also frequently used to predict the weather by detecting precipitation in its many forms. As such, radar is a very important technology that has aided both the general public and the progress of scientific discovery.
The impact that radio wave technology has had on the world in the last century can not be ignored So many things that we take for granted, such as being able to just text someone, or use the internet anywhere in a room, rely on the technology that research into in radio waves has supplied us with as a planet, making it a much smaller place with the instantaneity of communication.
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