To get an intelligent answer, I reached out to the intelligent RF engineers at Impinj, a leading provider of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) systems. Here is their response:
“If the electric field is high enough, it can locally ionize the air around the conductors. This is the corona that is sometimes audible as a buzzing or crackling. Think of it as thousands of tiny lightning bolts. And just as lightning can interfere with radio and television, corona can interfere by creating broadband noise and impulses. Is 132 kV high enough to do that? Could be—it depends on atmospheric conditions and conductor geometry.”
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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