Aviation Groups Are Worried 5G Could Lead to 'Catastrophic' Plane Crashes
From popular mechanics
Is the government increasing 5G by selling bandwidth that altimeters could turn off? The FAA is concerned.
The FCC says there is enough buffers, but an aviation industry study says otherwise.
Who is right? That's not clear yet, but aviation groups are asking for more time to explore.
On the long road to 5G cellular networks, we've seen it all: wild conspiracy theories, true stories of weather reading glitches, and the confusing idea that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can "sell" ranges of bandwidth to the highest bidder.
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Now the US military is expressing its concern that the auctioned bandwidth is too close to the frequencies used for flight navigation. Several commercial aviation groups could say the sale could result in "catastrophic failures" and "multiple deaths," according to a new report on Defense News. Even the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation have asked the FCC to stop while they investigate the concern.
What's up with 5G and why is it so busy? Some of this is perfectly normal as it is a big deal to make room for a whole new data infrastructure in both the technological landscape and the public imagination.
It is difficult to get people to embrace a change, even if it will eventually be good - and until now, many have not been convincingly realized that 5G is good.
These are not just the conspiracy theories that are thoroughly and continuously debunked, but merely questions of the cost of change versus the lower cost of maintaining the same.
And selling bandwidth is a big chunk of the change cost, it turns out. The problem right now is that the auctioned bandwidths are displacing a key piece of aviation hardware, not just for the military. This is just one example of a group that has the most to lose, like the similar situation with weather satellites that measure water vapor noise in some nearby 5G bandwidths.
Here's the gist of Defense News:
“This particular auction covers frequencies in the 3.7-3.98 GHz range with the hope of selling more than 5,000 new overlay licenses for flexible use. The frequency range of the C-band is currently relatively quiet with 3.7 to 3.98 GHz and is mainly occupied by satellites with low power. This made the neighboring frequency of 4.2 to 4.4 GHz a perfect place for the operation of radar altimeters, also known as radio altimeters, for decades. "
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Think of "bandwidth pollution" like light pollution - you are maybe 50 miles from the big city, but that's still close enough to ruin your view of the night sky. In this case, altimeters measure how close planes are to the ground, especially at low altitudes where their other instruments are not working. Defense News continues:
"Once 5G telecommunications are introduced in the 3.7-3.98 area of the band, there is a 'high risk' that these systems will cause 'harmful interference' to radar altimeters, according to an October study by RTCA, a trade organization that works with the FAA. to develop security standards. "
In its defense, the FCC says the bandwidth buffer is large enough not to believe that altimeter interference is a real possibility at all.
However, the concerns are being voiced by a telecommunications lobby group, and the FCC itself is led by former Verizon attorney Ajit Pai, who also speaks out against net neutrality.
The aviation industry, including private, commercial and military groups, is asking for a break while investigating the possibility of disruption.
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