Relevant Uses of Microwaves That Will Surprise You
When we hear the term “microwave,” the first thing that comes to our minds is the microwave oven in our kitchen. However, do you know that this term means so much more? Microwaves also refer to the certain types of electromagnetic waves. They are defined by their short frequencies of up to 300 GHz and long wavelengths which can range between 0.04 and 12 inches. Microwaves are commonly used for transmitting signals that need a large bandwidth.
Typically, they can be found between radio waves and infrared in the electromagnetic range. Microwaves can be applied in various functions such as communications, cooking, and radar. Here, you will discover the ten amazing uses of microwaves that will surprise you!
Do you know how astronauts can communicate with their families on earth while they spend a lot of their time in space? This is made possible through microwaves. Using microwaves, satellites are able to transmit signals to the earth. In contrast to the other waves in the electromagnetic spectrum, microwaves can avoid the atmosphere through the ionosphere to transmit information.
Some great examples of using microwaves for satellite communication are radio and television program transmissions, international phone calls, and earth monitoring for weather information.
To minimize the possible dispersion of the wave, the microwave wavelength should be smaller compared to the diameter of the dish. Also, the satellite dish should be made of metal because metallic surfaces can reflect microwaves better.
Long Distance Wireless Transmission
Microwave technology is commonly used in most wireless transmission systems. They are well-suited for the transmission of signals, most especially in long distances provided that there are no buildings or interferences that could block, reflect, weaken, or reflect the beam.
Just make sure that the receiver and transmitter are within line-of-sight of each other to guarantee that the microwave antennas can communicate. This is the reason why we always see antennas placed high up on tall poles.
One of the drawbacks of microwaves is that their poles should not be placed far away from each other since the transmissions might not be more effective due to the earth’s terrain. The existence of the hills or the curvature of the earth could restrict the beams.
Cell Phone Communication
Consequently, microwaves are used as a channel for the transmission of information between cellphones. When you are sending messages, photos, or videos, these are converted into signals and sent to the nearest cell tower through microwaves.
During this time, the signals are then transmitted to the destination device. The signals are transmitted as small constant pieces of information for a short time. The best thing about this is the communication between devices is made possible even without the use of cable connections.
Aside from this, mobile subscribers can also gain access to a lot of channels. As a result, the network is able to gain more subscribers without worrying about the risk of interference. So, always keep in mind that when you receive a phone call on your mobile phone, microwaves are responsible for it.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
We can hardly imagine how humanity could have survived without having GPS before the introduction of smartphones. These days, you can easily obtain directions to places where you have never been before. This is made possible through GPS.
GPS is one of the most exceptional technologies that make use of satellites orbiting the earth to transmit microwave signals. As a result, it can figure out the accurate location of a fixed or moving object aside from figuring out its velocity.
This system is being operated and controlled by the US Department of Defense. It is very useful not only for the military but also for the general public. The information being transmitted by microwaves includes navigation and satellite data.
Have you ever experienced losing Wi-Fi connectivity on your smartphone when you are using the microwave? This is because both of them are similar. They are operating on the similar frequency bands of the electromagnetic range. Wi-Fi, also known as wireless fidelity, refers to the capability of Wi-Fi microwaves to operate at various frequencies.
Microwave actually refers to the class of waves that are running in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum. For example, the Wi-Fi signal of your laptop is commonly transmitted at 2.4 GHz. Since the frequency of microwaves is between 300 MHz and 300 GHz, then it falls within the microwave range of the spectrum.
The police radar gun can calculate the speed of a vehicle through microwaves. The gun receiver sends out microwaves and once it hits the vehicle, they will be reflected back and detected by the device. As a result, the speed of the vehicle will be computed based on the time it took to reflect the signal and the distance being traveled by the microwaves.
The radar system or Radio Detection and Ranging is not only applicable to radio speed guns. In fact, it is commonly used for providing information on the range, angle, or velocity of objects in the land, sea, or air. Hence, it can help in detecting space crafts, air crafts, terrain, ships at the sea, and a lot more.
Originally, it was created during the Second World War. The radar system is using microwaves since it can transmit in a specific direction by using a single beam only. Objects can be easily detected once the straight-line path of the beam is blocked.
Are you aware that your microwave oven and the Bluetooth have similar frequency range on the spectrum? Both of these devices are operating between 2.4 and 2.48 GHz. Because of this, we can classify Bluetooth as a microwave. Bluetooth can connect two devices by using short-range microwave signals. Hence, it can eliminate the hassle of using those unsightly wires and cables.
It uses a special technique wherein the signals quickly change carriers over various frequency channels. Usually, it is done in a random sequence, but this is recognized by both the transmitter and the receiver. This can help in preventing any potential interference from any other device.
Our ancient ancestors would have loved the convenience of having microwaves ovens. After all, they are known as microwaves since they are using microwave technology in heating various types of foods. It was in the 1970s when these electronic devices became widely popular due to their capability of cooking and heating food without any visible source of heat. Nowadays, you can easily find a lot of information on how microwaves work.
After putting your food inside the compartment, the microwaves will bounce all over the oven. As a result, it will heat or cook your food through radiation. The beams are responsible for heating the food. Microwaves only travel in one direction, that is why the plate of food should be rotated to make sure that all parts are being heated.
Recently, the Pentagon revealed that their latest solution for fighting drone threats are high-powered microwave (HPM) weapons. Its operation is quite straightforward. After discovering that there are enemy drones, the HPM will release numerous blasts of microwave radiation into the sky.
Eventually, this will sweep the sky, destroying all the drones that are in its path. In fact, this anti-drone strategy is more effective compared to guns, jammers, or any other type of kinetic weapons.
One of the greatest advantages of using microwave radiation in fighting drone threats is that it does not rely on weather conditions, or any other visibility blockage. As long as the HPM is turned on, it will not stop sending out microwave radiation into the sky to neutralize any enemy drones in its path.
You might think that X-rays are only used in the medical field, but there’s more to that. Microwaves are now popularly used in various medical applications. It is being used in Ophthalmology, Dental treatments, Cosmetic treatments, Oncology, Cardiology, Rhizotomy, Gynecology, Otolaryngology, etc.
Microwaves can generate heat, which can be used for creating specific dielectric thermal desiccation of human tissue. This procedure is also known as microwave ablation.
It is the new method of fighting cancer, specifically for those patients who are not good candidates for surgery. The greatest thing about it is that it is less invasive which results in a speedy recovery. Microwave ablation is popularly used for treating unwanted masses such as prostate cancer, lung tumors, tumors in the liver, etc.
Microwaves Are Used All Over the World
When microwave technology was first used in World War 2 for developing radar systems, no one had ever imagined that it had a lot of surprising uses. Now, microwaves are so powerful that they have the ability to power almost everything around us. From cooking or heating your food to quickly and easily communicating using your cell phones.
Regardless how you use it, there is only one thing that is certain, we can’t imagine life without it. We won’t be able to heat our leftover pizza or communicate with our loved ones or friends.
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