You’re on a rescue mission, you need to stay connected, and don’t want to haul heavy equipment with you. A group of students at Colorado State University, Pueblo, have a blanket answer for that, reports Chieftain.com.
A team of six students took their inspiration from NASA and created a lightweight signal booster blanket.
The blanket was woven with two sheets of water-resistant fabric covering a stamped copper Fresnel lens. Operating as a passive antenna, the blanket is capable of boosting incoming electromagnetic signals, or radio waves, up to ten decibels in hard-to-reach areas.
“We targeted more of search and rescue, wildfire firefighters and those types of markets where you would have a great need for something that was very lightweight and that was able to help increase your signal,” said Kenneth Kordell Roberts, one of the students. “This will boost the signal on your cell phone. If you are backpacking or hiking out in the wilderness, normally there would be no signal. But this will help,” he added.
In recognition for their innovative design in the NASA MITTIC Technology Transfer competition, four of the students earned a trip to the Johnson Space Center in March. “It was great to see the engineering right in front of us and not just something we just talk about all the time,” said student Alex Goodwin.
May 3, 2019