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Re: [RFI] RFI Digest, Vol 39, Issue 3

To: rfi@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [RFI] RFI Digest, Vol 39, Issue 3
From: Tom Cox <tomcox@iquest.net>
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2006 17:36:48 -0500
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
This was my comment on this topic opn another list, where there is also lots of 
interesting discussion: 

I certainly don't want to put any flight I'm on in jeopardy by using a 
cell phone. However, I have to wonder how avionics, aircraft control 
systems, stepper motors, hydraulic pump motors, servos, fluorescent 
lighting systems, and probably dozens, if not hundreds of switching 
power supplies can be stuffed into an airframe,  and operate without 
hopelessly swamping each other with so much noise that nothing works -- 
unless they're designed from the inside out to work in that sea of noise.

If avionics are designed to work in that RF environment, how much impact 
can a cell phone really have? I admit there is no case to be made for a 
conventional cell phone working at 45,000 feet and 450 MPH, any more 
than you can expect a UHF handheld radio to maintain a useful 
communication circuit when it's bringing up a dozen repeaters over 
four or five states. But, really, if commercial avionics are so 
fragile thay can't survive the noise from a cell phone in the passenger 
compartment, something tells me they have design defects that need to be 
fixed before all commercial aircraft come plunging out of the sky.

As some others have said, I'd like to see the objective, replicable 
study that demonstrates such failures, and then, I'd like to see that 
vulnerability fixed. Otherwise, we have an opportunity for terrorism 
that doesn't involve even a trace of explosive. Why wear exploding 
shoes, when you can just flip open your cell phone?

Tom, KT9OM

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