alara cases are designed and tested by our team of antenna engineers in a state-of-the-art lab in Carlsbad, California.
We measure cell phone radiation exposure in accordance with international standards using the SAR metric. SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate and it quantifies the rate at which energy is absorbed by the human body when exposed to a radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic field. In the US, SAR measurement protocols are regulated by the FCC. Measurements are made inside a SAM (Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin) phantom head which mimics the size, shape and RF properties of a human head.
The SPEAG cSAR system used in our lab – it is a vector array measurement system with advanced 3D reconstruction algorithms to measure SAR.1
During testing the phone makes a call to a base station emulator (think of it as our own mini network and cell tower). The transmit power of the phone is kept constant and all the possible frequency bands and technologies (2G, 3G, 4G/LTE) are tested (on a real world network it’s not possible to control these variables – they will vary from call-to-call and even during one call).
We frequently get asked if you can use a handheld RF or EMF meter, like those below, to test alara.
Examples of Handheld RF or EMF meters (left to right: TriField 100XE Meter, Cornet Electrosmog Meter, TES 593 Electrosmog Meter, Gigahertz Solutions HFE 35C RF-Analyser)
While we encourage and applaud independent scientific testing of alara, it is important to use the proper equipment to ensure accurate and repeatable results. A handheld RF meter might give a very crude approximation of cell phone radiation, but they have some significant limitations. These meters are intended for measuring the “far-field”, a distance greater than 2 wavelengths (about 2 feet for frequencies commonly used by cell phones) from the RF source. When used closer they can actually interfere with the source and give erroneous measurements. A digital meter with the appropriate frequency range should be used – cell phones transmit and receive signals in the 700MHz to 2500MHz range. Great care needs to be taken with positioning and placement of the measurement probe relative to the cell phone – even small changes can have a dramatic effect on the measured signal. Your hand holding the meter and even your body in close proximity to the phone and/or meter, will also influence the measurement.
alara is tested with rigor and precision in our lab to ensure that it reduces your exposure to cell phone radiation to as low as reasonably achievable.