Saturday, 19 February 2011

Extremely Low Frequency Transmitters

Extremely Low Frequency Transmitters (or ELF) was the Navy’s attempt at commutating with submarines though Extremely Low Frequencies. Putting millions of watts of electricity into the ground to make low frequency waves, which submarines can pick up.

The ELF program was started during the Cold War and was designed to launch a nuclear attack, although it was never used. It worked by getting power from Wisconsin’s power plants and three Commins diesel 1000-kilowatt phase power generators that would supply up to three million watts of power to the system. With the power that was from the Wisconsin power plants, a series of electric units put the power into extremely low frequency waves down to 3 to 30Hz which can penetrate sea water, and land. ELF’s were also virtually unscramble and would travel for hundreds of miles

In the 1950’s when it was found out that extremely low frequency waves could cut through sea water it was thought by the government that they would use this for nuclear submarine communication and so they started testing it, although other kinds of ELF were tested such as SHELF which stands for Super Hard Extremely Low Frequency Transmitters, or SEAFARER which stands for Surface ELF Antenna For Addressing Remotely Employed Receivers, But ELF system we have today consists of a two transistor sites with above ground wires.

Some health effects were found from ELF, such as cancer. Up to 40 studies have been done on it and all of them have found a link to ELF putting out hazardous waves that can cause cancer and brain tumors. In 1984 ELF was shut down because of these health affects but was reopened.

Even though ELF was never used in a nuclear attack it could a been like many weapons in the cold war it could of caused lots of damage. ELF’s health affects and the cost to run it eventually caused it to almost be shut down, protests and other affects in 1999 almost shut it down again but is still thought to be running today.

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