|Title:||The Effect of External Interference on Avalanche Transceiver Functionality|
|Authors:||John W. Barkhausen|
Prescott College, Prescott, AZ, USA
For over 40 years, avalanche transceivers have been helping searchers locate and rescue victims buried in avalanches. They rely on internal electronics receiving and interpreting radio waves being transmitted by the victim’s avalanche transceiver, and their success and usefulness is measured by how quickly and effectively they can follow that signal to the buried victim. Up until now, little has been done to understand the effect that external interference has on this signal, and therefore the effectiveness of the beacon itself. In this study, personal electronic devices were held near a searching beacon to see if they had any influence on the beacon’s ability to follow a signal. This was done by finding both the normal and affected ranges and comparing the two values. In the end, there was clear evidence that electronic devices, when held close enough to a searching beacon, had a negative effect on that beacons functionality.