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5G frequencies won't interfere with airliners here, UK and EU aviation regulators say
Saturday, 15 January 2022 05:24

HTTP/2 200 date: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 13:00:09 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/6438f31bce2730fe373dbd89fb9fea6f09ea1dc3/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/58bae17e9d0a386aa7d939aef25e401089881db2/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/58bae17e9d0a386aa7d939aef25e401089881db2/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 13:00:09 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy03us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines x-content-type-options: nosniff cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 6cdf490eef2c5ac0-MEL alt-svc: h3=":443"; ma=86400, h3-29=":443"; ma=86400, h3-28=":443"; ma=86400, h3-27=":443"; ma=86400 5G won't interfere with airliners, say UK and EU regulators • The Register

US (and Canadian) fears are uniquely Leftpondian, it seems


5G mobile phone emissions won't harm airliners, Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said, dampening down excitement in the US about mobile masts interfering with airliners' altimeters.

In December the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) issued warnings about the 5G C-band frequencies used for mobile phones, saying the 3.7-3.98GHz band used by phone masts clashed with airliner radio altimeters.

Warnings duly went out telling airlines to watch out for problems, followed by two prominent US mobile network operators delaying the rollout of the C-band.

Radio altimeters (radalts for short) calculate the height of an aeroplane above whatever's directly underneath it. Conventional pressure altimeters give a reading relative to a pilot-selected pressure setting, typically one relating to height above mean sea level. Radalts feed into all kinds of systems, including the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS; it's the one that shouts "pull up!" when airliners get too low) and similar safety systems, including autoland in bad weather.

Yet a couple of weeks prior to that delay, the CAA said there was nothing to worry about. In a safety bulletin issued on 23 December, the regulator told pilots: "Conversations with other [national aviation authorities] has established that there have been no confirmed instances where 5G interference has resulted in aircraft system malfunction or unexpected behaviour," while cautiously adding: "Past performance is not a guarantee for future applications."

As we previously reported, the US concerns focus on an October 2020 report from the Radio Technical Committee for Aeronautics. Its analysts carried out a simulation of bleed-through from 5G bands to radio altimeter bands, relating that to potential mobile mast positions beneath airport approach paths.

Radio altimeters operate between 4.2GHz and 4.4GHz, according to a presentation [PDF] delivered to the International Civil Aviation Organisation in 2018 summarising then-current risks to radalts, which didn't include mobile phone spectrum. This is separated by a few hundred MHz from the radio altimeter band. So what's going on here?

A Qualcomm slide showing 5G spectrum allocations worldwide in December 2020. Click to enlarge. The full PDF presentation is here.

Ollie Turner, a spokesperson for the UK Civil Aviation Authority, told The Register in a prepared statement: "There have been no reported incidents of aircraft systems being affected by 5G transmissions in UK airspace, but we are nonetheless working with Ofcom and the Ministry of Defence to make sure that the deployment of 5G in the UK does not cause any technical problems for aircraft."

Similarly, the EU Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) said in a bulletin rejecting a Canadian radio altimeter directive resembling the FAA's 5G warning: "EASA has not been able to determine the presence of an unsafe condition but continues to closely coordinate with the affected design approval holders before deciding if mandatory action is warranted."

It appears regulators on this side of the Atlantic aren't worried about the gap between the Europe-wide 3.4-3.8GHz 5G spectrum allocation and the 4.2-4.4GHz radalt band. The reason for the FAA (and US pilot trade union ALPA's) caution would appear to be fears of mobile networks' traffic from the top edge of 3.98GHz bleeding into the neighbouring band.

The FAA has also said that 5G power levels are significantly higher in the US than elsewhere. The body pointed out that in the US, "even the planned temporary nationwide lower power levels will be 2.5x higher than in France" (1585 Watts vs 631 Watts).

Point 'n' zap

Gartner analyst Bill Ray (once of this parish) told The Register the difference in power levels is part of the problem, with the other being that nobody knows just how good radio altimeters' RF filters are.

"If you're the US military and you over-specify (and overspend) on everything then you're probably going to be fine," he said, pointing out that radalts can be fitted to private light aeroplanes too – and light aircraft are subject to less strict maintenance rules than commercial airliners.

"The problem is that no one has ever done a comprehensive study of how good the filters on altimeters are, so no one knows how bad the problem will be." On top of that, there's a potential problem with directional 5G (or indeed any mobile phone) signals.

"MIMO uses beamforming to direct a radio signal at the receiving mobile phone, so in theory signals should not be directed at the aircraft, except that lots of people forget to turn their phones off when flying so we have to assume that a 5G radio beam will (at some point) be directed at an aircraft coming in to land," said Ray.

Indeed, this is one of the reasons airline passengers are told to turn their phones off during takeoff and landing.

In practice a radio altimeter failure could range between inconvenient and very troublesome. An A320 pilot consulted by The Register told us a radalt failure at a late stage of an approach to land could, according to aircraft manuals, cause "untimely FLARE and THR[UST] IDLE mode engagement," which he characterised as potentially catastrophic in bad weather – but not difficult to cope with if the airliner's crew can see the ground.

"My opinion? No one knows for sure and everyone is using fancy words to hide it," shrugged our tame pilot. Perhaps he's got a point. ®


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In brief California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous.

“Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the opinions of other experts in this space,” have made the DMV think twice about Tesla, according to a letter sent to California’s Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), chair of the Senate’s transportation committee, and first reported by the LA Times.

Tesla isn’t required to report the number of crashes to California’s DMV unlike other self-driving car companies like Waymo or Cruise because it operates at lower levels of autonomy and requires human supervision. But that may change after videos like drivers having to take over to avoid accidentally swerving into pedestrians crossing the road or failing to detect a truck in the middle of the road continue circulating.

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Space is a hazardous environment. Streams of charged particles traveling at the speed of light, ejected from stars and distant galaxies, bombard planets. The intense radiation can strip atmospheres and cause oceans on planetary surfaces to dry up over time, leaving them arid and incapable of supporting habitable life. Cosmic rays, however, are deflected away from Earth, however, since it’s shielded by its magnetic field.

Now, a team of researchers led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) believe that Super-Earths - planets that are more massive than Earth but less than Neptune - may have magnetic fields too. Their defensive bubbles, in fact, are estimated to stay intact for longer than the one around Earth, meaning life on their surfaces will have more time to develop and survive.

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In preliminary results, total revenue for calendar 2021 was up 6 per cent year-on-year to €7.98bn - a marked contrast to the car crash financials served up by SAP for 2020.

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Texas, 14 other US states, and the Commonwealths of Kentucky and Puerto Rico accused Google of unlawfully monopolizing the online ad market and rigging ad auctions in a December, 2020, lawsuit. The plaintiffs subsequently filed an amendment complaint in October, 2021, that includes details previously redacted.

On Friday, Texas et al. filed a third amended complaint [PDF] that fills in more blanks and expands the allegations by 69 more pages.

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The US sanctions on Chinese companies didn't have the intended effect of restricting China's semiconductor industry. In fact, the saber-rattling is only serving for China to get its act together on semiconductors, the industry body warned.

China's semiconductor industry sales totaled $39.8bn in 2020, a growth rate of 30.6 per cent from 2019, the SIA said. In 2015, China chip sales were just $13bn, or a 3.8 per cent market share.

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The Top Ten Technology Trends report was produced by Alibaba's DAMO Academy, set up by the firm in 2017 as a blue-sky scientific and technological research outfit. DAMO hit the headlines recently with hints of a novel chip architecture that merges processing and memory.

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HTTP/2 200 date: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 13:00:09 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/6438f31bce2730fe373dbd89fb9fea6f09ea1dc3/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/58bae17e9d0a386aa7d939aef25e401089881db2/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/58bae17e9d0a386aa7d939aef25e401089881db2/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 13:00:09 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy03us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines x-content-type-options: nosniff cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 6cdf490eef2c5ac0-MEL alt-svc: h3=":443"; ma=86400, h3-29=":443"; ma=86400, h3-28=":443"; ma=86400, h3-27=":443"; ma=86400 5G won't interfere with airliners, say UK and EU regulators • The Register

US (and Canadian) fears are uniquely Leftpondian, it seems


5G mobile phone emissions won't harm airliners, Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said, dampening down excitement in the US about mobile masts interfering with airliners' altimeters.

In December the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) issued warnings about the 5G C-band frequencies used for mobile phones, saying the 3.7-3.98GHz band used by phone masts clashed with airliner radio altimeters.

Warnings duly went out telling airlines to watch out for problems, followed by two prominent US mobile network operators delaying the rollout of the C-band.

Radio altimeters (radalts for short) calculate the height of an aeroplane above whatever's directly underneath it. Conventional pressure altimeters give a reading relative to a pilot-selected pressure setting, typically one relating to height above mean sea level. Radalts feed into all kinds of systems, including the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS; it's the one that shouts "pull up!" when airliners get too low) and similar safety systems, including autoland in bad weather.

Yet a couple of weeks prior to that delay, the CAA said there was nothing to worry about. In a safety bulletin issued on 23 December, the regulator told pilots: "Conversations with other [national aviation authorities] has established that there have been no confirmed instances where 5G interference has resulted in aircraft system malfunction or unexpected behaviour," while cautiously adding: "Past performance is not a guarantee for future applications."

As we previously reported, the US concerns focus on an October 2020 report from the Radio Technical Committee for Aeronautics. Its analysts carried out a simulation of bleed-through from 5G bands to radio altimeter bands, relating that to potential mobile mast positions beneath airport approach paths.

Radio altimeters operate between 4.2GHz and 4.4GHz, according to a presentation [PDF] delivered to the International Civil Aviation Organisation in 2018 summarising then-current risks to radalts, which didn't include mobile phone spectrum. This is separated by a few hundred MHz from the radio altimeter band. So what's going on here?

5G frequencies won't interfere with airliners here, UK and EU aviation regulators say

A Qualcomm slide showing 5G spectrum allocations worldwide in December 2020. Click to enlarge. The full PDF presentation is here.

Ollie Turner, a spokesperson for the UK Civil Aviation Authority, told The Register in a prepared statement: "There have been no reported incidents of aircraft systems being affected by 5G transmissions in UK airspace, but we are nonetheless working with Ofcom and the Ministry of Defence to make sure that the deployment of 5G in the UK does not cause any technical problems for aircraft."

Similarly, the EU Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) said in a bulletin rejecting a Canadian radio altimeter directive resembling the FAA's 5G warning: "EASA has not been able to determine the presence of an unsafe condition but continues to closely coordinate with the affected design approval holders before deciding if mandatory action is warranted."

It appears regulators on this side of the Atlantic aren't worried about the gap between the Europe-wide 3.4-3.8GHz 5G spectrum allocation and the 4.2-4.4GHz radalt band. The reason for the FAA (and US pilot trade union ALPA's) caution would appear to be fears of mobile networks' traffic from the top edge of 3.98GHz bleeding into the neighbouring band.

The FAA has also said that 5G power levels are significantly higher in the US than elsewhere. The body pointed out that in the US, "even the planned temporary nationwide lower power levels will be 2.5x higher than in France" (1585 Watts vs 631 Watts).

Point 'n' zap

Gartner analyst Bill Ray (once of this parish) told The Register the difference in power levels is part of the problem, with the other being that nobody knows just how good radio altimeters' RF filters are.

"If you're the US military and you over-specify (and overspend) on everything then you're probably going to be fine," he said, pointing out that radalts can be fitted to private light aeroplanes too – and light aircraft are subject to less strict maintenance rules than commercial airliners.

"The problem is that no one has ever done a comprehensive study of how good the filters on altimeters are, so no one knows how bad the problem will be." On top of that, there's a potential problem with directional 5G (or indeed any mobile phone) signals.

"MIMO uses beamforming to direct a radio signal at the receiving mobile phone, so in theory signals should not be directed at the aircraft, except that lots of people forget to turn their phones off when flying so we have to assume that a 5G radio beam will (at some point) be directed at an aircraft coming in to land," said Ray.

Indeed, this is one of the reasons airline passengers are told to turn their phones off during takeoff and landing.

In practice a radio altimeter failure could range between inconvenient and very troublesome. An A320 pilot consulted by The Register told us a radalt failure at a late stage of an approach to land could, according to aircraft manuals, cause "untimely FLARE and THR[UST] IDLE mode engagement," which he characterised as potentially catastrophic in bad weather – but not difficult to cope with if the airliner's crew can see the ground.

"My opinion? No one knows for sure and everyone is using fancy words to hide it," shrugged our tame pilot. Perhaps he's got a point. ®


Other stories you might like

In brief California’s Department of Motor Vehicles said it’s “revisiting” its opinion of whether Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving feature needs more oversight after a series of videos demonstrate how the technology can be dangerous.

“Recent software updates, videos showing dangerous use of that technology, open investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the opinions of other experts in this space,” have made the DMV think twice about Tesla, according to a letter sent to California’s Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), chair of the Senate’s transportation committee, and first reported by the LA Times.

Tesla isn’t required to report the number of crashes to California’s DMV unlike other self-driving car companies like Waymo or Cruise because it operates at lower levels of autonomy and requires human supervision. But that may change after videos like drivers having to take over to avoid accidentally swerving into pedestrians crossing the road or failing to detect a truck in the middle of the road continue circulating.

Continue readingAlien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than we Earthlings due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays Laser experiments show their magnetic fields shielding their surfaces from radiation last longer

Life on Super-Earths may have more time to develop and evolve, thanks to their long-lasting magnetic fields protecting them against harmful cosmic rays, according to new research published in Science.

Space is a hazardous environment. Streams of charged particles traveling at the speed of light, ejected from stars and distant galaxies, bombard planets. The intense radiation can strip atmospheres and cause oceans on planetary surfaces to dry up over time, leaving them arid and incapable of supporting habitable life. Cosmic rays, however, are deflected away from Earth, however, since it’s shielded by its magnetic field.

Now, a team of researchers led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) believe that Super-Earths - planets that are more massive than Earth but less than Neptune - may have magnetic fields too. Their defensive bubbles, in fact, are estimated to stay intact for longer than the one around Earth, meaning life on their surfaces will have more time to develop and survive.

Continue readingAnd relax: no repeat car crash financials for SAP in 2021 as cloud services come good Let's not mention on-premise licences....

ERP specialist SAP saw Q4 cloud revenue jump 28 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier to hit €2.61bn

In preliminary results, total revenue for calendar 2021 was up 6 per cent year-on-year to €7.98bn - a marked contrast to the car crash financials served up by SAP for 2020.

Customer migration to the vendor's latest in-memory ERP platform was sluggish prior to initiatives SAP put in place to convince customers to migrate. The prelims show those plans are working.

Continue reading

The alleged 2017 deal between Google and Facebook to kill header bidding, a way for multiple ad exchanges to compete fairly in automated ad auctions, was negotiated by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and endorsed by both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (now with Meta) and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, according to an updated complaint filed in the Texas-led antitrust lawsuit against Google.

Texas, 14 other US states, and the Commonwealths of Kentucky and Puerto Rico accused Google of unlawfully monopolizing the online ad market and rigging ad auctions in a December, 2020, lawsuit. The plaintiffs subsequently filed an amendment complaint in October, 2021, that includes details previously redacted.

On Friday, Texas et al. filed a third amended complaint [PDF] that fills in more blanks and expands the allegations by 69 more pages.

Continue readingUS-China chip cold war? It's only helping the Middle Kingdom warn silicon makers It's blowback time again

China's cold war with the US on chips isn't slowing down the country's rapid growth in semiconductors, the Semiconductor Industry Association said this week.

The US sanctions on Chinese companies didn't have the intended effect of restricting China's semiconductor industry. In fact, the saber-rattling is only serving for China to get its act together on semiconductors, the industry body warned.

China's semiconductor industry sales totaled $39.8bn in 2020, a growth rate of 30.6 per cent from 2019, the SIA said. In 2015, China chip sales were just $13bn, or a 3.8 per cent market share.

Continue readingAlibaba ponders its crystal ball to spy coming advances in AI and silicon photonics Machine learning to propel us into glorious era of scientific discovery

Alibaba has published a report detailing a number of technology trends the China-based megacorp believes will make an impact across the economy and society at large over the next several years. This includes the use of AI in scientific research, adoption of silicon photonics, the integration of terrestrial, and satellite data networks among others.

The Top Ten Technology Trends report was produced by Alibaba's DAMO Academy, set up by the firm in 2017 as a blue-sky scientific and technological research outfit. DAMO hit the headlines recently with hints of a novel chip architecture that merges processing and memory.

Among the trends listed in the DAMO report, AI features more than once. In science, DAMO believes that AI-based approaches will make new scientific paradigms possible, thanks to the ability of machine learning to process massive amounts of multi-dimensional and multi-modal data, and solve complex scientific problems. The report states that AI will not only accelerate the speed of scientific research, but also help discover new laws of science, and is set to be used as a production tool in some basic sciences.

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/3KcCkns