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Why are Wullenweber CDAAs obsolete?

My dad worked inside the FRD sites on various Navy duty stations and is suffering now from Parkinson's and dementia. Has anyone else heard or read of similar side effects to such frequency exposures for over 20 years of military service? Thank you

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Sorry to hear about your dad! (Had an uncle that suffered from Parkinson's. It's pitiful condition :(. )

Although there's been extensive research, the only studies concluding that there's a link between neurological phenomena and EM at non-instantly damaging levels, were a rather ethicallly questionable study from the early 1960s and some not-very-convincing work in the 1970s. There has been some reports of auditory sensations near active microwave transmitters, but these are usually explained by "the field is strong enough to heat your brain or auditory sensing organs significantly".

I don't see a direct correlation to Parkinson's and dementia. Considering Wullenweber arrays are receivers, the EM levels at the antenna site would be extremely benign. The receiver processing and amplifier stations, although probably full of flame-retardants, refrigerants, building isolation material and heavy metals of negative health effect as any electrical building in the mid-twentieth century, should probably not have had significant levels of EMI, either, because that directly conflicts with the need for a low-electrical-noise environment of such receivers.

I'm not a neurologist, so I will abstain from making any diagnosis of a person I've never met – but Parkinson's, as terrible as it is, has a prevalence of 0.3% in industrialized nations: 3 in 1000 people have it. Dementia is a common complication in later-stage Parkinson, sadly, but could also have arised separately; it's not a rare disease, either. There are environmental factors which are known to be correlated with dementia (e.g. exposure to lead and other heavy minerals), but given the information you gave in the question (your dad not being a painter, or handling a lot of mercury), I'd avoid jumping to conclusions here. My best explanation for your father's illness is probably really really bad luck :(

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much. Your response is interesting. He was serving in Okinawa in 1958 and was there at the time of the Minamata mercury contamination. He then did a lot of painting as an enlisted seaman in Homestead using lead paint for almost 4 years. Thank you for your kind words. $\endgroup$
    – Monique
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ Be skeptical of any "scientific" papers originating in the Soviet bloc that purport to connect EM radiation and disease processes. These were largely propaganda designed to impede research into microwaves in the West. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 19:08
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There's a slim chance you might get damage from a transmitting antenna, but this looks like a receiving antenna. If anything, you'd probably get less exposure there, because the antenna would be absorbing some of it.

Although, technically for it to be absorbing enough to be significant enough to reduce exposure, the spacing would have to be less than 1/4 wavelength, preferably less than 1/10 wavelength.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your reply. Sadly all of the FRD sites are currently demolished and unable to do any actual testing $\endgroup$
    – Monique
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Monique I'm sorry to hear about your father's condition. There's no need to do any testing. Wullenweber antennas were receive-only antennas used for direction finding of HF (short wave) signals. They weren't used to transmit RF signals. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2023 at 23:38

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