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New real-time measurement of electromagnetic waves in Brussels

20:20 14/10/2021

From this Friday, 40 sensors will be installed in the south of the Brussels Region in order to monitor in real time the evolution of exposure to electromagnetic fields.

The pilot project funded by the Brussels region via Innoviris and led by the Université Libre de Bruxelles, UCLouvain and Brussels Environment aims to develop a model to predict exposure to electromagnetic waves. The four-year research project, funded by Innoviris, will also help quantify the impact of the 5G deployment in Brussels.

The 40 sensors, installed between the Solbosch campus and the Cinquantenaire in an area of 4.5 km², will carry out 12 measurements per day. They will be able to measure in real time exposure to waves emitted, in particular by mobile telephone networks, broadcasting services and television antennas. The device will not only make it possible to quantify the impact of the deployment of 5G in Brussels but also to anticipate it.

"Thanks to these data, it will be possible to follow the evolution of the electric field and even to anticipate it. Ultimately, the idea is to develop a mathematical model capable of predicting the effects of any change in the network, like adding an antenna, for example," said Quentin Gontier, ULB researcher involved in the project.

“To better understand the reality on the ground is to have better control in the future. This will allow us to accumulate even more data to make sure that operators comply with the law and with emission standards."

These new tools, developed by ULB in partnership with UCLouvain, will complement and refine the simulation tools currently used by Brussels Environment “which already has one of the most efficient management and control systems in the world, coupled with one of the strictest set of standards" according to Blaise Godefroid expert in the technologies and radiation department of Brussels Environment.

"The protection of citizens is at stake. Residents of Brussels can consult the land register of the antennas to check the exposure levels in their neighbourhood. If in doubt, they can also request that a measurement be taken at home. This measurement is free."

From today, 15 October, the measurements of the magnetic fields carried out by the sensors will be accessible via the platform

Written by Richard Harris