Mitsubishi has created a large antenna made of seawater

Mitsubishi Electric has been on a mission to develop new antennas that offer new functions and superior performance. Currently, the company is investigating conductive and transmutative liquids as new materials for antennas. One such highly practical liquid is seawater, the most abundant resource on Earth.
In keeping with its research, Mitsubishi is using the most abundant resource on Earth — seawater— to create what it calls the world’s first seawater antenna capable of receiving digital broadcasts for normal viewing.
The innovative antenna system, SeaAerial, shoots a column of seawater into the air to create a conductive plume for the transmission and reception of radio-frequency waves. According to the company, the system was developed to be implemented offshore or along shorelines.
(Image via Mitsubishi Electric)
(Image via Mitsubishi Electric)

In order to use a plume of seawater  as an antenna it needs to be insulated, so Mitsubishi Electric developed an insulated nozzle, equipped with a quarter-wavelength tube, that transmits radio waves to the antenna even when the plume is physically connected to the sea surface.

In order to achieve antenna efficiency, the Mitsubishi researchers needed to determine the ideal diameter of the plume, which they did using digital simulations, and found it to have a 70% efficiency rating — enough to transmit and receive signals.

With traditional antennas, size determines frequency, so many tend to be large, making it difficult to find an ideal location. However, SeaAerial, despite its size, can be installed anywhere along the shore, as well as offshore, and it can be moved easily by ship and other vessels because basically it requires just a pump and an insulated nozzle.

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