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Magnetic Communications


The Technology

SARA is currently developing a cave communication device for use by the Army for communications with and among troops in caves or underground facilities. We are also developing smart networked munitions for the US Air Force that are able to record their deceleration experience on impacting the earth, and report back to a surface node whether they have penetrated into an underground chamber.


These devices make use of varying magnetic fields to induce a response in a remote inductor and provide a robust means of communication that can penetrate conducting materials, such as wet soil, thick buildings, and water. Low signal frequencies restrict the data rate in communication, as well as range, but interference in this regime is also limited.

The Applications

  • Rescuer location and communications
    • Mine rescues
    • Collapsed buildings
  • Also ideal for shallow waters and in the littoral

The Advantages

Magnetic communications provides the ability to communicate through conductive materials, such as earth, water, steel-reinforced concrete, and other materials where radio frequency transmissions would be blocked. Combined with SARA’s magnetic localization capability, voice communications provides an ideal communicator for applications where radio capability is limited.

While trade-offs in physical size, battery life, data rate, and range capability are critical, SARA has been successful in developing compact transmitters and receiveres that operate effectively in the low-frequency domain. We have also developed techniques for improving the power efficiency of these systems and integrated our communications technology with our magnetic localization capability into one compact device.