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A Fish May Hold the Key to More Efficient Wireless Networks

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Anchoa eigenmannia.

University of Georgia Researchers are modeling a solution to radio frequency interference on a small South American fish.

Credit: Ross Robertson

Researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA) think the eigenmannia, a small South American fish, could hold the solution to radio frequency interference, a pressing problem as wireless networks become more ubiquitous.

UGA professor Mable Fok says eigenmannia are able to "locate objects by generating an electric field and detecting distortions in the field." A neural circuit in the fish enables them to detect the frequency emitted by other fish and regulate their own electric field so it does not interfere with those of the fish around it. Fok and her colleagues believe this jamming avoidance response (JAR) could be used as a model for a system that would enable wireless networks to automatically detect surrounding networks and select an unused frequency if they detect interference.

"If we can borrow the JAR circuit from the eigenmannia and replicate it in our communications frequency bands, then we can create a communications system that allows automated interference mitigation," Fok says.

Along with graduate researcher Ryan Toole, Fok has designed an artificial neural model using photonics that mimics the function of the eigenmannia's JAR circuit. The next step is to build a physical prototype.

From UGA Today
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