Reply to post: Re: where there is no fire there is no smoke

Hell hath no fury like a radar engineer scorned

Alan Brown Silver badge

Re: where there is no fire there is no smoke

"Being burned with EME is no laughing matter, whether microwave, VHF or other."

But the amount of microwave energy required to trigger a flashcube at close range is close to the stated level and a bunch of them going off at once would easily give the smoking effect described - the cheaper mechanically triggered ones had a nasty tendency to go off if merely knocked, didn't have much protection against the hot bulb melting the front of the enclosure and after we found they'd go off around 15kW CW SW transmitters, some experimenting with high frequency kit found that sticking them in front of low power (1W) 4GHz and 6GHz uncapped waveguides would set them off too - at which point the heat of all four bulbs combined would make a smelly mess of the entire polystyrene assembly.

As the allowable level is 10W per square metre, low level pulses are nothing to worry about. On the other hand you really don't want to stand in front of an uncapped aircraft weather or nav radar - a friend of mine on apron duty was unfortunate enough to have this happen in 1993 when the crew of a Dash-8 forgot to turn theirs off after landing and spent a long time in hospital as a result. (Hint: The liquid humor inside of your eyeballs reacts much the same way to being heated up as egg whites do.)

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