Aviation and 5G interference

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Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

  • Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I know there are some very knowledgeable people here, so I thought I’d ask about this, since I can’t make much of it

    There are many headlines from the US about this issue today (and yesterday)

    Top US phone firms agree delay of 5G rollout

    “Plane makers have warned that C-Band spectrum 5G wireless signals may interfere with sensitive aircraft electronics and could disrupt flights.”

    It’s summarised well by Ben Schlappig here:

    Airline 5G drama?

    and Charlie Page is a Senior First Officer on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. He has a very detailed piece on it, but it doesn’t address why this might be a problem in the US but not here – unless it’s a different 5g?

    5G signals are having an unexpected side effect on aircraft operations – here’s how pilots are dealing with it

    … or is this really just a difference between the US and Europe with regards to regulation, like with certain drugs?

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Inquisitive
    Participant

    Sometimes some people try to create a problem, most without any bad intention, but some are from vested interest.

    If any onboard passenger phone 5G signal could interfere with cabin electronics, that can be easily mitigated by a shield at cockpit door.

    Problem could arise from a phone uses by pilots.

    I understand even the latest fly by wire airplanes can be flown manually as long as the engines are running and hydraulic system for radar is good.

    I will be rather worried about increasingly high number of drone and laser uses that could affect during takeoff or landing.


    Chris in Makati
    Participant

    Sometimes some people try to create a problem, most without any bad intention, but some are from vested interest.

    If any onboard passenger phone 5G signal could interfere with cabin electronics, that can be easily mitigated by a shield at cockpit door.

    Problem could arise from a phone uses by pilots.

    I understand even the latest fly by wire airplanes can be flown manually as long as the engines are running and hydraulic system for radar is good.

    I will be rather worried about increasingly high number of drone and laser uses that could affect during takeoff or landing.

    It’s not just the equipment inside the cockpit where signals could be picked up. Aircraft have various communications and navigational antennae located at various points around the exterior hull of the aircraft. As well as that, there are cables carrying control signals which run under and above the passenger cabin. While these are shielded, it’s theoretically possible that a strong signal from a radio transmitter close by could cause some degree of interference, although I think the risk is minimal.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    I am in the industry and this point has been mooted for years that phones will interfere with the electronics and I am afraid its a myth.. Most pilots will use their phones when in the cockpit, I am lucky enough to have travelled plenty in private jets and I was never once made to switch off my phone it is something that was mainly used to prevent a free for all when a passenger jet was full and people were trying to rest!

    5G has been part of the same rigorous studies and tests that all other technologies have gone through so I think this is just the authorities “doing there thing”

    I would agree with inquisitive and Chris there are many other things such as drones and lasers and poorly designed aircraft that are far more concerning!!


    transtraxman
    Participant

    As usual the beeb is on to the story.
    “US airlines warn of impending 5G flight disruption,” (BBC News, 18-1-22)

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60036831


    atcer28
    Participant

    It could be because 5G uses a different frequency in the UK. The article says “5G signals operate in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band, just 220 megahertz difference from that of aircraft radio altimeters.” Radio altimeters are 4.2-4.4 GHz. Whereas in the UK we operate 5g at 3.4-3.6 Ghz so I’m guessing that extra distance from the radio altimeter band may be why it#’s less of an issue here.


    Flying_Spanner
    Participant

    Sometimes some people try to create a problem, most without any bad intention, but some are from vested interest.

    If any onboard passenger phone 5G signal could interfere with cabin electronics, that can be easily mitigated by a shield at cockpit door.

    Problem could arise from a phone uses by pilots.

    I understand even the latest fly by wire airplanes can be flown manually as long as the engines are running and hydraulic system for radar is good.

    I will be rather worried about increasingly high number of drone and laser uses that could affect during takeoff or landing.

    Just a couple of corrections I feel compelled to address. The avionics, i.e the boxes/hardware that actually control the aircraft electrical systems, are in the MEC/EE Bay under the floor approx door 1 (depending slightly on type) so any shielding to the flight deck would be irrelevant, as all that’s in there is ether indicating or providing input to said “boxes” under the floorboards. Hydraulics most certainly have nothing to do with radar.

    In regards to the OP, I highly doubt any serious implications of 5G and agree with your comment, I too would be more concerned with drone usage.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    TonyR
    Participant

    For how many years were we not allowed to use our 2/3/4G phones on planes because they might interfere with the avionics before the rules were relaxed for lack of evidence of any problem?

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Many flights cancelled

    British Airways cancels US flights over 5G safety fears
    Lufthansa, Emirates, Japan Airlines, ANA and Air India also axe services as aircraft face potential interference from new mobile networks


    lostantipod
    Participant

    I know there are some very knowledgeable people here, so I thought I’d ask about this, since I can’t make much of it

    There are many headlines from the US about this issue today (and yesterday)

    Top US phone firms agree delay of 5G rollout

    “Plane makers have warned that C-Band spectrum 5G wireless signals may interfere with sensitive aircraft electronics and could disrupt flights.”

    It’s summarised well by Ben Schlappig here:

    Airline 5G drama?

    and Charlie Page is a Senior First Officer on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. He has a very detailed piece on it, but it doesn’t address why this might be a problem in the US but not here – unless it’s a different 5g?

    5G signals are having an unexpected side effect on aircraft operations – here’s how pilots are dealing with it

    … or is this really just a difference between the US and Europe with regards to regulation, like with certain drugs?

    yeah sorry you flushed out the “knowledgeable” people pretty quick…..
    “cabin shielding” …LOL
    “before the rules were relaxed for lack of evidence of any problem” … because all new technology is tested by throwing it out there and seeing if anyone dies …LOL

    I am ex-telco but not an expert on 5G effect on avionics. Quoting a longhaul pilot friend during the 3G/4G era: “last thing I need when trying to communicate with ATC on a busy frequency is the beeping interference of a mobile phone trying to connect to the network. If I mishear something critical like takeoff line-up, or landing clearance while on finals, it could get ugly very quickly”. So it deserved a thorough looking at, at the time.

    But also some actually knowledgeable people: mobile spectrum is different in the US, correct. My gut feel is this is why the issue is prominent there.


    Maaki
    Participant

    … simply because of other technology (US vs. Europe).
    The issue is, that anybody with no technical background comments on these things.
    And yes, there is a difference in these frequencies and please ask professionals, e.g. from EADS, how much real problems the freq. in the US can create and does create.

    If you can´t touch it and don´t see it, it doesn´t mean it is not exisiting or a myth :-((

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    I know there are some very knowledgeable people here, so I thought I’d ask about this, since I can’t make much of it

    There are many headlines from the US about this issue today (and yesterday)

    Top US phone firms agree delay of 5G rollout

    “Plane makers have warned that C-Band spectrum 5G wireless signals may interfere with sensitive aircraft electronics and could disrupt flights.”

    It’s summarised well by Ben Schlappig here:

    Airline 5G drama?

    and Charlie Page is a Senior First Officer on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. He has a very detailed piece on it, but it doesn’t address why this might be a problem in the US but not here – unless it’s a different 5g?

    5G signals are having an unexpected side effect on aircraft operations – here’s how pilots are dealing with it

    … or is this really just a difference between the US and Europe with regards to regulation, like with certain drugs?

    yeah sorry you flushed out the “knowledgeable” people pretty quick…..
    “cabin shielding” …LOL
    “before the rules were relaxed for lack of evidence of any problem” … because all new technology is tested by throwing it out there and seeing if anyone dies …LOL

    I am ex-telco but not an expert on 5G effect on avionics. Quoting a longhaul pilot friend during the 3G/4G era: “last thing I need when trying to communicate with ATC on a busy frequency is the beeping interference of a mobile phone trying to connect to the network. If I mishear something critical like takeoff line-up, or landing clearance while on finals, it could get ugly very quickly”. So it deserved a thorough looking at, at the time.

    But also some actually knowledgeable people: mobile spectrum is different in the US, correct. My gut feel is this is why the issue is prominent there.

    That’s exactly right, the spectrum the Americans have decided to use 5G on is totally different to that of Europe and indeed the Rest of the World. I think they are being super careful just to ensure that nothing causes an issue which hasnt at all in the ROW where 5G has been present and working fine for about a year now!

    As to your point maaki that if you cant touch it and dont see it etc, is that the same as “if it looks like a duck, smells like a duck it should be one”?

    I made the point earlier 5G is not likely to bring a plane down, and surprisingly (or not) here in Singapore SQ are only flying to the US in Airbus planes and not Boeings which after the last few years they’ve had could be ultra sensitive to anything new and have made the most noise!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    From my reading of the various reports it appears that the concern is not ‘phones on ‘planes, but the possibility that ground transmitting stations (which of course are much more powerful) might interfere with radio altimeters, especially on Boeing aircraft – which would seem to be supported by SQ’s actions as highlighted by K1ngston.

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