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How Proper Antenna Alignment Helps the Environment (Cellular)

Posted on the 21 December 2016 by Tom Jamieson @tomjamieson_

How Proper Antenna Alignment Helps the Environment (Cellular)

Environmental concerns have received media attention for years, but people still tend to underestimate the impact of relatively small changes on the natural world. Something as simple as optimizing the antenna alignment on a phone tower can actually help to protect the environment in addition to improving the antenna's performance. Antenna placement is already subject to extensive regulations that exist to protect the environment, but optimizing the antenna's performance can make the environment a little bit safer.

How Does It Work?

The impact of antenna alignment on the environment comes down to its ability to make the antenna more effective. Cell signals are a type of wave that passes through the environment, and many different factors can have an impact on the strength of that wave. They often have trouble passing through buildings and other structures, but the largest problem is usually interference. Two waves that meet while traveling in opposite directions will interfere with each other, which results in the weaker of the two waves dissipating and the stronger wave being significantly weakened. Aligning an antenna such that the interference from other waves is minimized and such that the wave can avoid structures can significantly improve the quality and strength of the signal.

That can help reduce the need to build new antennas in order to keep the signal in a given area strong. That may not seem significant, but every new antenna has an impact on the environment, so reducing the number of new antennas can protect it in several different ways.

Minimizing Resource Use

Antennas vary significantly in size, from small ones that can be placed on a building to larger ones that need their own towers. Regardless of their size, all of them require resources to build and maintain. The metal that is used for the antenna needs to be mined, which pollutes the surrounding area, while refining the metal and crafting the antenna requires a significant energy investment. Everything that reduces the need for new antennas reduces the demand for those natural resources, which means less damage will be done to the environment. Removing an antenna here or there may not seem like a big difference, but environmental protection comes from accumulating the effects of many small changes.

Protecting Wildlife

New antennas can also interfere with the local wildlife. Cell towers are major constructions that can involve clearing land and other disruptive activities, but small antennas on homes and businesses also have an impact. The impact is minimal in open areas, but in confined spaces, such as in cities, they can obstruct flight paths for birds. Animals can also hurt themselves if they happen to chew on the antenna or otherwise interact with it. Reducing the number of antennas means reducing the chances for injury, and optimizing their alignment can accomplish that without sacrificing any of the cell network's power.

How Proper Antenna Alignment Helps the Environment (Cellular)

Tom James,

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