Army eyes new, lightweight radio system

The Army Communications-Electronics Research and Development Engineering Center  is considering industry collaboration to develop a beyond line-of-sight radio that would save money by reducing reliance on commercial satellites. 

On July 23, the center’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate released a request for information intended for “planning purposes only,” emphasizing that “no funds have been authorized, appropriated, or received for this effort.” 

The concept being considered would use tropospheric scatter communications, which transmit and receive microwave radio signals by bouncing them off the troposphere. This method overcomes traditional obstructions to line-of-sight comms, such as mountainous terrain. 

RFI requirements would include worldwide operation, on-the-move support, a minimum communication distance of 40 km and simultaneous voice, data and multimedia capabilities.

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