Whether it’s first responders fighting a wildfire or hikers getting lost in the wilderness, the loss of communication can be the difference between life and death.
“This will boost the signal on your cellphone. If you are backpacking or hiking out in the wilderness, normally there would be no signal. But this will help,” said Kenneth “Kordell” Roberts while holding what looked like an ordinary green blanket with a giant silver oval in the middle of it.
But this blanket is far from ordinary. In fact, you can say it’s out of this world.
Roberts, a three-year industrial engineering student at Colorado State University-Pueblo and six other students have studied the NASA concept of a “portable wireless signal booster” and came up with their own idea on how to make a product with it.
The design is a stamped copper Fresnel lens woven between two sheets of water-resistant fabric. The product would be used as a passive antenna that is capable of boosting incoming electromagnetic signals, or radio waves, up to 10 decibels in areas of low coverage.