The Effect of Different Steel Structures on the Signal Strength of Radio Waves

This experiment was conducted in order to research six different structural designs and the effect that they would have upon the signal strength of a Samsung Galaxy S6 cell phone. This was done because different structural designs have different effects on electromagnetic waves. The different structural designs that were tested within this experiment were: Solid Plate, Bubbled Plate, Striped Plate, Concave-Up Plate, Concave-Down Plate, and a Base Plate. The response variable, or the dependent variable was the signal strength of cell phone (dBm), this is the strength of the radio waves that reach the cell phone. This was done by placing the cell phone within a steel box, and then placing the structure (the plate) being tested on top of the box. The cell phone had a preloaded application to measure the signal strength which was launched prior to placing the phone within the box. The signal strength of the phone was then recorded. The hypothesis stating that the Concave Down Plate would cause the most amount of signal interference, and that Concave Up Plate would cause the least amount of interference was accepted. This is based on the results of the ANOVA test and the two-sample t tests. The null hypothesis, that all the structures were the same, was rejected. The t tests concluded that only the Bubble Plate and the Striped Plate produced the same amount of interference. Box plots and visual analysis concluded that the Concave Up Plate caused the least amount of interference, and the Concave Down Plate caused the most. This research demonstrates which structures to be implemented in certain scenarios, such as military bunkers preventing radio waves, or satellite dishes utilizing radio waves.

Research Conducted By:

Thanvir Ahmed
Center Line High School

Nafis Jaigirdar
Warren Mott High School