Google’s 96.4 kilowatt experimental transmitter

spaceport-virgin

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, for sharing the following story:

(Source: Hackaday)

[…]In a publication released last week, Google asked the FCC to treat some information relating to radio experiments as confidential. These experiments involve highly directional and therefore high power [96.4 kilowatt] transmissions at 2.5 GHz, 5.8GHz, 24GHz, 71-76GHz, and 81-86GHz. These experiments will take place at Spaceport America, a 12,000 foot runway in the middle of New Mexico occasionally used by SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and now Google.

For the most part, this document only tells the FCC that Google won’t be causing harmful interference in their radio experiments. There few other details, save for what bands and transmitters Google will be using and an experimental radio license call sign (WI9XZE) that doesn’t show up in the FCC database.[…]

Read the full article at Hackaday…

Click here to read FCC File No. 0142-EX-PL-2016 (Google Public Redacted Version).

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1 thought on “Google’s 96.4 kilowatt experimental transmitter

  1. DL4NO

    The article shows a typical case of information mangled by an ignorant author:

    One thing is transmitter power. 100 kW at 70 GHz or so would be a word.
    Quite a different thing is “effective radiated power” (ERP). Here you multiply the transmitter output power with the antenna gain.

    An example: My HAMNET connection to the 44.0.0.0/8 “hamradio intranet” on 2.3 GHz uses a 19 dBi panel antenna that is 36 x 36 cm large. 19 dB are a bit less than a 1:100 power ratio. To avoid some paperwork I decided to limit ERP to less than 10 W. Therefore I set my transmtter power to 100 mW.

    At 60 GHz or so a 30 dBi (1:1000) antenna is quite small. The transmitter mentioned in the article therefore needs no more than 100 W output.

    Why would they want to do such a thing? Perhaps to do a few EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) tests on their rumored car.

    The BMW EMC test chambers are a few km from here. They produce quite some RF power to ensure nothing will happen to any of their cars in the field. I have heard they only stop after the first cables have gone up in smoke.

    A few decades ago Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty operated SW transmitters some 50 km SE of Munich. A prototype military jet made the error to fly through the beam of their Antennas. It crashed due to EMC problems.

    Reply

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