Wires and antennas may in time become a thing of the past, but the latter may be making a comeback — in the form of seawater. No, I haven’t lost my mind — Mitsubishi has managed to construct an antenna entirely out of seawater, tapping into the conductive properties of the salt-laden universal solvent that allows for the transmission and reception of radio-frequency waves. On Wednesday, the Tokyo-based automotive company announced the development of an “innovative antenna system, called SeaAerial, that shoots a column of seawater into the air to create a conductive plume.”
In what seems to be the first ocean-based antenna since the U.S. Navy’s 2011 concept appeared, Mitsubishi notes that “a plume of seawater” could be utilized to conduct signals if properly insulated, and as such, the company has proposed “an insulated nozzle that transmits radio waves to the antenna even when the plume is physically connected to the sea surface.” So yes, your newest antenna would basically be plugged into the Pacific. More impressive still, after multiple simulations, Mitsubishi managed to create an ocean antenna that has an efficiency level of 70 percent, which allows for effective operation.
While Mitsubishi has yet to implement its new idea, it has high hopes for the future of the technology. Pointing out that the “SeaAerial, despite its size, can be installed virtually anywhere along the shore, as well as offshore,” the Japanese company says that such an antenna may allow for ships and submarines to communicate across long distances at sea. And because it “basically requires just a pump and an insulated nozzle,” the seawater antenna is extremely portable.
Mitsubishi claims that the antenna is already capable of “receiving digital terrestrial broadcasts for normal viewing,” and if it manages to turn one of the “most abundant resource[s] on Earth” into another way to binge watch television, it just may be the best thing ever.