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RF Goggles

Locate and identify RF sources visually
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
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A set of goggles (more like a VR headset, I suppose) with various antennas and detectors to render a visual image of all RF sources within "view." Use 'em to see if your RF thingie is really transmitting, to find cell phone users to disrupt with the Cellular Disruptor (see link), etc. See the RF soup we're living in. Different colors for different frequencies, etc.
land, Jun 30 2000


       Find power cables by their 60Hz emissions...
egnor, Jun 30 2000

       Unfortunately, not completely practical for 60 Hz. That means a wavelength of (scribble scribble) about 5 km, and you will need antennae of around that size to image a source. If you find a way around the diffraction limit, you should patent it as lots of folks will be interested.
rmutt, Mar 13 2001

       Land's idea sees the RF, while Egnor described seeing the inverse, the RF shadows. Some limited combinations of the two are probably actually possible (in their band, eg, 2.4GHz) with a set of collaborating wireless PDAs. "Of course, what I *really* want is a headset I can put on that will let me visually *see* these signals. Using wireless gadgets, I often feel like a blind man with a photometer. I develop all sorts of voodoo about how different kinds of walls block various transmissions, and `shadows' and `reflections' and `multipath', and the locations of towers and the directionality of their antennas and so on... for once, I'd like to put on some glasses and *see* all this stuff."   

       : egnor, Nov 21 2000 in "keychain"
comoc, Apr 03 2001

       Does the 60 Hz thing generate higher harmonics?
LoriZ, Jul 28 2001

       Mu cursory search to see if my idea had been proposed was not cursory enough - here it is. So - I addend my thoughts. These goggles would generate a monochromatic field, sort of like night vision goggles. There is a boatload of information contained in RF transmission - whole TV shows, conversations, etc. Probably the same sort of variations are in the visible spectrum, but our eye smooths it out to the info we can use.   

       It is interesting not note that there are places that get no reception - occasionally there are "ghost" signals bounced off a building, and so on. By artificially coloring the landscape with these emissions we could see how these waves are bouncing around. It would be cool!
bungston, Apr 06 2003

       I remember reading about some radio sensitive goggles that the Air Force had developed for field testing the radar-reflecting surfaces of stealth bombers. I think it was in Popular Mechanics or something, but I'm not sure.   

       I bet something like this could also be useful for archeologists using ground-penetrating radar, or SWAT teams using radar "flashlights" to see through walls.
gastronaut, Apr 07 2003

       Radar flashlights! Very cool app!
bungston, Apr 07 2003


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