archive: SETI Fwd: Fractal Antenna Distance Record Set

SETI Fwd: Fractal Antenna Distance Record Set

MarcusJohn@aol.com
Mon, 21 Dec 1998 23:13:20 EST

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>From the business news wire, courtesy of our good friend Nathan 'Chip' Cohen:

John Marcus.

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From: AOLNews@aol.com
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Subject: Fractal Antenna Distance Record Set
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 09:57:15 EST
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Fractal Antenna Distance Record Set

FT LAUDERDALE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 21, 1998--Fractal Antenna Systems,
Inc. today reported that after a five month shakedown, a `ham' radio antenna
has shown that small things go great distances. In this case, a small fractal
antenna.

Fractals are a family of geometric shapes that repeat their pattern over
a variety of size scales.

Nearly 1/4 the regular size of a conventional Yagi-Uda dipole beam, the
fractal beam consists of two folded dipoles bent into fractal shapes. Each is
about 1.5 meters on a side, a tiny fraction of the 10 meter wavelength
employed for the radio contacts.

Dr. Nathan Cohen, CTO of the company, radio astronomer, and assiduous
radio amateur, has used the fractal Yagi on top of a short tower to make
thousands of radio contacts all over the world from the company's R&D
facilities in Massachusetts. In doing so he has set a new record--the small
fractal antenna easily made contact with dozens of stations in Europe--using
only 1 watt. Contacts with stations in Palau, Papua, and many other exotic
Pacific locations were accomplished successfully with only 2 watts.

As a point of reference, typical cell phones use about one watt of power
to accomplish local transmissions to cell sites.

At a stretch of over 5000 miles per watt, the fractal antenna has gone a
long way. Cohen pioneered the field of fractal antenna elements after hearing
a conference talk by Benoit Mandelbrot, the fractal mathematician founder, in
1987. First publicly reporting his results in 1994, and publishing the first
article in 1995, Cohen has started a field with internationally recognized
significance, and research teams in many countries, as well as the United
States. Cohen has recently been recognized for this accomplishment by being
appointed a finalist in the 1998 Discover Awards for Technological Innovation,
as reported in the July issue of that magazine.

Downplaying the novelty of the distance record, Cohen nonetheless
stressed the lessons learned from it. " The fractal Yagi antenna proves
extremely efficient and high in performance, irrespective of its diminutive
size." Cohen added, " no discrete electronic parts or matching units were used
or necessary. This is a `plug and play' antenna."

Although Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc., does not sell ham antennas, it
has made details available on its patent pending design for experimentation by
hams. Its commercial, proprietary fractal antenna designs are predominantly at
cell phone frequencies and higher, where they comprise tiny etched circuit
boards rather than the bent wires of the ham antenna. Details are available on
its web page at http://www.fractenna.com.

CONTACT:

Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc.

Phil Salkind, 617-489-8824

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