Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz

Arno Thielens, Duncan Bell,  David Mortimore, Mark Greco, Luc Martens, Wout Joseph

Abstract

Insects are continually exposed to Radio-Frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields at different frequencies. The range of frequencies used for wireless telecommunication systems will increase in the near future from below 6 GHz (2 G, 3 G, 4 G, and WiFi) to frequencies up to 120 GHz (5 G). This paper is the first to report the absorbed RF electromagnetic power in four different types of insects as a function of frequency from 2 GHz to 120 GHz. A set of insect models was obtained using novel Micro-CT (computer tomography) imaging. These models were used for the first time in finite-difference time-domain electromagnetic simulations. All insects showed a dependence of the absorbed power on the frequency. All insects showed a general increase in absorbed RF power at and above 6 GHz, in comparison to the absorbed RF power below 6 GHz. Our simulations showed that a shift of 10% of the incident power density to frequencies above 6 GHz would lead to an increase in absorbed power between 3–370%.

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Conclusions

We investigated the absorbed radio-frequency electromagnetic power in four different real insects as a function of frequency from 2–120 GHz. Micro-CT imaging was used to obtain realistic models of real insects. These models were assigned dielectric parameters obtained from literature and used in finite-difference time-domain simulations. All insects show a dependence of the absorbed power on the frequency with a peak frequency that depends on their size and dielectric properties. The insects show a maximum in absorbed radio frequency power at wavelengths that are comparable to their body size. They show a general increase in absorbed radio-frequency power above 6 GHz (until the frequencies where the wavelengths are comparable to their body size), which indicates that if the used power densities do not decrease, but shift (partly) to higher frequencies, the absorption in the studied insects will increase as well. A shift of 10% of the incident power density to frequencies above 6 GHz would lead to an increase in absorbed power between 3–370%. This could lead to changes in insect behaviour, physiology, and morphology over time due to an increase in body temperatures, from dielectric heating. The studied insects that are smaller than 1 cm show a peak in absorption at frequencies (above 6 GHz), which are currently not often used for telecommunication, but are planned to be used in the next generation of wireless telecommunication systems. At frequencies above the peak frequency (smaller wavelengths) the absorbed power decreases slightly.

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And according to another paper our urban insects will be really feeling the heat with 5G…

In recent years, with the growing popularity of smart devices and wide spreading ofmobile Internet, the mobile data traffic is increasing dramatically. By 2020, theglobal mobile traffic volume will have about 1000 times growth compared to that of2010 [1, 2]. According to the mobile cellular history from the first GenerationMobile Communication System (1G) to fourth Generation Mobile CommunicationSystem (4G), each generation has about ten times data rate enhancement related tothe previous generation. The next generation of International Mobile Telecommunication towards 2020 (IMT-2020), i.e. the fifth Generation MobileCommunication System (5G), would thus reach 10 Gbps, which is ten times peak data rate to 4G. In 2015, International Telecommunications Union-Radio Communications Sector (ITU-R) published the recommendation on the framework and key capabilities on IMT-2020 [3]. Base on the recommendation, the area traffic capacity is one of the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 5G and requirement value reaches 20 Tbps/km2 in dense urban or hotspot area. In addition, other requirements such as lower latency, higher spectral efficiency and energy efficiency are also included….SNIP
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