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Microwave Oven Interference on Wireless LANsAbstract - Commercial microwave ovens as applied inrestaurants have two magnetron tubes and comparedto domestic kitchen counterparts they spread thehigher RF power and radiated heating energy moreevenly The domestic kitchen or residential microwaveovens have only one magnetron tube The interferencefrom the commercial type of microwave ovens is moredifficult to characterise than the interference from theresidential ones The commercial type of microwaveovens radiate a CW-like interference that sweeps overtens of MHz during the two bursts per mains powercycle The residential ones give a CW-like interferencethat has a more or less stable frequency near 245 GHzoccurring once per mains power cycle The impact ofthe interference from the commercial type ofmicrowave ovens on wireless LANs conforming theIEEE 80211 standard for both DSSS direct sequencespread spectrum and FHSS frequency hoppingspread spectrum has been evaluatedThe release of the 24 GHz unlicensed band 2400 -24835MHz for ISM industrial scientific medicalapplications prompted a significant interest in the designof wireless LAN products Interference from extraneoussources unintentional radiators impacts the reliability ofcommunication in this 24 GHz ISM band Sources ofsuch interference are the millions of residentialmicrowave ovens radiating at frequencies close to 245GHz and they have been described largely in theliterature Commercial microwave ovens based on twomagnetron tubes as used in restaurants have been hardlydescribed in the literature Since commercial ovens areexpected more often in the vicinity of office buildingswith a high population density of office equipment andPCs this type has been evaluated with respect to thenature of the interference signal and the impact onwireless LANs operating in the 24 GHz ISM bandAt first published material on residential microwaveovens the reports from the NTIA NationalTelecommunications and Information Administration inthe US - 1 and 2 - are discussed Next thecommercial microwave ovens and the nature of theirinterference is considered The characterization of theinterference from such ovens requires a dedicatedmeasurement set up Then the robustness of wirelessLANs based on DSSS and FHSS conformant to IEEE80211 against CW interference is discussed At
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