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High-frequency military radio boosts data rates ten times over

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A new high-frequency radio kit which improves tactical data transfer has been developed for military organisations.

International communications company Harris Corporation has introduced a new high-frequency (HF) radio which improves tactical data transfer by ten times over current models.

The demands placed on soldiers can be complex due to technological development -- but can also make dangerous scenarios more secure if effective communication is maintained.

That is where electronic 'manpacks' come in. Portable methods of communication and the transmission of tactical data is now paramount, so light and efficient methods of doing so over HF radio has become an area of expanding innovation.

The Florida-based company's launch of the Falcon III RF-7800H manpack aims to improve this communication, by facilitating the transmission of video, images, maps and other large data files from beyond-line-of-sight environments that current manpack models may not be able to cope with.

The data rates that the third-generation Falcon offers are 10 times higher than other models used in the military -- which currently are often restricted to voice and low file-size transfers such as text messaging over high-frequency radio.

Brendan O'Connell, president, international business unit, Harris RF Communications said:

"The new RF-7800H provides enhanced wideband HF data capabilities that will enable streamlined command and control on the battlefield.

The RF-7800H radio leverages a half-century of experience and innovation in waveform development and design and manufacturing of high-performance HF transceivers. The RF-7800H lightens the warfighter's load with a streamlined ergonomic form factor, reduced size and weight and single battery operation."

20 percent smaller and lighter than many alternative models at under 4 kilograms, the RF-7800H manpack runs on a single battery and covers the 1.5 MHz to 60 MHz frequency band. It also includes encryption technology and an inbuilt GPS system.

As an alternative to satellite communications, Harris has already had success with the production of over 100,000 Falcon II manpack radios, and it hopes that the third-generation model will appeal to military organisations.

Harris is closely involved in the development of wideband HF technology used by the U.S. government, and the new radio has been designed in accordance to military modem and security requirements.

Image credit: Beverly & Pack

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure