You'd think that with all the leaps we've made in wireless communication that we wouldn't need a new antenna. Daniel Tam disagrees. This engineer at SPAWAR Systems Center has to solve the daunting task of jamming as many antennas possible onto a Navy ship. His brilliant solution? Use the one material there's plenty of near a boat: seawater.
The prototype antenna consists of a water pump, a nozzle and a large magnetic coil with a coax jack for input and output. Reception is achieved by blasting a stream of seawater through the magnet. It's rated for 2 to 400MHz, meaning it can send and receive signals in the UHF, VHF and HF ranges.
Although the device was primarily designed for on seaborne craft, Tam hopes to see it used in other applications, such as for emergency radio broadcasts. He even envisions the antenna used on land. Where you'd find the seawater, only Tam knows.