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free103point9 Newsroom has moved to http://free103point9.wordpress.com/as of March 18, 2010 A blog for radio artists with transmission art news, open calls, microradio news, and discussion of issues about radio art, creative use of radio, and radio technologies. free103point9 announcements are also included here.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cellphones could warn of imminent lightning strike

From New Scientist:
It could become an indispensable safety device for outdoor enthusiasts - a cellphone that warns you to take cover if lightning is heading your way. Lightning can pose a major risk to people taking part in outdoor pursuits, such as golfing. So Nokia proposes a warning system that uses the fact that a lightning bolt is an electric current that emits radio waves. Each bolt produces frequencies between 10 hertz and 5 gigahertz, and the distribution of these signals depends on how far away the lightning is. The multiple receivers in a phone, such as Bluetooth, FM, tri-band GSM, Wi-Fi and RFID, can be tuned to pick up these signals, says Nokia (US patent application 2007/0085525). Software will then interpret them, work out the distance to the lightning, and tell you if strikes are getting closer.

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