Airplane mode speculations
When certain communication and tracking systems were invented, systems were set that should always be active, in order to provide a good level of security. There are some types of radios in mobile devices, which have different functions and purposes; these radios are the WI-FI, Bluetooth, the cellular network, and in some devices, the NFC network. But, it is not always convenient to have all these radio signals active on mobile devices or laptops, as they can come into contact with other vital signals such as radio signals from an airplane.
Airplane mode was a mode implemented as a security measure for all mobile devices, since all mobile devices, is equipped with various types of radios, can interfere with the signals of the plane when taking off, landing. or make any contact with the control towers. It is important to understand what airplane mode does and why there may be interference between mobile networks and airplane signals. Another important factor to understand is that there are systems that generate radio signals that should always be active, in addition to the fact that the risk of generating harmful interference is almost zero.
Aircraft and Mobile Signal Interference – Airplane Mode Fixes It
Signal interferences are collisions or crosses between signal waves emitted by different types of emitters. Considering the fact that almost all communications are by radio frequencies, there can be alterations in both if there is interference. Interferences are not only affected when there is a considerable density between several transmitter-receiver channels, but also by environmental factors, such as humidity, storms, objects that are in the path of the channel and among others.
Airplane mode is a mode that, when activated, deactivates all radio emissions from the device, which implies that the radiation fields emitted by the device are canceled while the mode is activated. Every time a flight is about to start, part of aviation protocol is that passengers are asked to activate this mode, or sometimes to completely turn off the device.
There is a lot of speculation about this measure, as most people think that it is unnecessary to request to turn off the phone since the latest technologies in communications and aircraft control panels are protected against interference. Now, this measure of turning off the phone should be considered in the case of somewhat analog technology aircraft in the control panels.
An example in which it could affect the radio emissions of mobile devices in airplanes is the galvanometers, which were present in the panels of somewhat old airplanes, in addition to the fact that their system was based on a dynamic of copper cables wrapped in a piece of iron, which created an electromagnetic field. This field generated by these analog systems could be altered by other radio emissions, such as cell phone signals so that it could affect the operation of the control panel by throwing inaccurate values shown on the needles.
Speculation about the real reasons for turning off cell phones
There are many possible reasons why airline cabin crews ask to turn off mobile devices of all kinds, which for many people tend to be more logical than those exposed by the cabin crew, such as Calls from a person can make others uncomfortable, the danger of battery explosion, the safety coverings of the aircraft wiring system can deteriorate over time, so it can cause a certain reaction with the emissions of telephones and among other reasons that an audience greater has alleged.
There are other possible reasons why they ask passengers to turn off their mobile devices, and that is because, being at a height greater than 2,500 meters or more, the phone must increase the signal emission capacity to send the call or communication to the surface of the earth, including making contact not only in one but in several antennas, being able to create a considerable electromagnetic field if all the passengers were calling at the same time, but engineers have developed better ways to avoid these possible interferences than so much is fought to be avoided.
The digital panels of recent aircraft have reduced the risk of interference from mobile signals to almost 0 since there are no analog elements, such as the galvanometer mentioned above, that can be affected. A set of cards and digital screens are found in the current aircraft panels, so it is much more irrelevant that the airplane mode is activated or much less ordered to turn off the plane.
GPS is not a transmitter, but a receiver
GPS is the only antenna of a mobile device that is not deactivated when airplane mode is activated, since it does not emit any signal, it is not a tool to establish communication, but simply to be tracked. The GPS is not an information transmitter, but a receiver, which means that the field generated by the mobile when keeping this antenna active, does not significantly interfere with the aircraft’s signal.
In some cases of mobile phones, the GPS antenna was deactivated when activating the phone’s airplane mode, specifically Apple devices with IOS less than or equal to version 8.2, but that has changed with later versions because now the airplane mode does not deactivate GPS function.
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