salt water as a radio antenna

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Message boards : SETI@home Science : salt water as a radio antenna

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Rob Y. Kramdosk
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Message 1002922 - Posted: 11 Jun 2010, 13:53:23 UTC

Dear All,

Please excuse my novice question, but I have been stuck with this idea since reading Clarke's "Imperial Earth": if long wavelength radio transmissions are the way to communicate across the cosmos, and if we're to receive those transmissions, could we use salt water reserves of Earth to receive those signals? In particular, could we connect together the salt lakes (Salt Lake in Utah, the Dead Sea, etc.) into a large antenna for such reception?

I recollect that water attenuates radio transmissions, but I wasn't sure about salt water. This is what you get for being a biology major.

Best regards, and appreciative of your responses,


Profile Johnney Guinness
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Message 1003287 - Posted: 11 Jun 2010, 23:21:41 UTC
Last modified: 11 Jun 2010, 23:30:56 UTC

I'm not an expert either on radio transmission and receiving. But i do believe that you need a large parabolic shaped metal dish with as large a surface area as possible to collect your radio signal. Or a complex set of smaller parabolic shaped dishs in an array. The surface of a lake would be flat, or a large lake would even be slightly convexed making for a bad collecting dish. I'm also not sure its even possible as the salt water should absorb the signal. But i could be wrong.

What exactly did they describe in the book? Did they suggest that they could use a lake as a radio dish?


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Message 1003433 - Posted: 12 Jun 2010, 5:25:50 UTC - in response to Message 1003287.

lets not forget that oceans are full of salt and nobody has thought to coat the bottom with a reflective surface so that they could be bounced to a receiver, in space? which would be silly.
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Message boards : SETI@home Science : salt water as a radio antenna

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