Defence tests WBHF radio for data transfer

New tech could offer 10x speed increase for data over radio

The Wideband High Frequency radio trial. Image credit: SGT William Guthrie. © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

The Wideband High Frequency radio trial. Image credit: SGT William Guthrie. © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

High quality still images and video have been successfully transmitted via IP over a Wideband High Frequency radio connection during a test by the Australian Defence Force.

The ADF today offered details of the WBHF test, which forms part of the RAAF’s ‘Plan Jericho’.

Plan Jericho was unveiled in February.

The tech upgrade program is an effort by the RAAF to “develop a future force that is agile and adaptive, fully immersed in the information age, and truly joint,” the Plan Jericho program of work (PDF) states.

According to Defence, WBHF can transmit data up to 10 times faster than current systems used by the ADF.

Existing High Frequency (HF) radio infrastructure can integrate the new WBHF system, an ADF statement released today said.

“During live, over-the-air tests, a standard Internet Protocol (IP) data link was established between an Army node operating at HMAS Harman, the Chief Information Officer Group’s (CIOG) strategic HF network at RAAF Base Townsville and RAAF Base Wagga, and an AP-3C Orion aircraft at RAAF Base Edinburgh,” the ADF statement said.

“Being able to transfer secure data via the WBHF radio could provide greater flexibility and survivability to the Australian Defence Force in the future,” Air Force Wing Commander Daniel Howarth said in a statement.

“Whether it’s a real time conversation, streaming live video or the rapid transfer of large data files, this technology has the ability to deliver a true sovereign beyond line of sight communications capability for us.”

Rockwell Collins is the industry partner for the WBHF tests.

According to Rockwell Collins, WBHF can provide 240 kilobits per second data transfers without line of sight.

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