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Comtech successfully demos long range, high throughput troposcatter communications for US and Foreign DoDs

Following SOFIC 2022 just a few weeks ago, Comtech hosted a tactical beyond-line-of-site (BLOS) or over-the-horizon (OTH) communications capabilities demonstration featuring Comtech’s Troposcatter Family of Systems (FOS) terminals – our large and medium form-factor Modular Transportable Transmission System – the MTTS - and the small form-factor Compact, Over-the-Horizon, Mobile, Expeditionary Terminal – the COMET) operating on live troposcatter links in Central Florida. Attended by both US and NATO allied government customers, the event illustrated the relevance and practicality of rapidly deployable, high throughput, long range, troposcatter terrestrial communications and the superiority of Comtech’s CS67PLUS troposcatter radio/modem – the heart of our Troposcatter FOS.

The goal of this event was to provide a better understanding of the capabilities of troposcatter equipment and system diversity configurations through the analysis and interpretation of the data collected during this event. The demonstration consisted of four different troposcatter communications links employing both MTTS for longer links at 120 and 160 miles, and COMET for shorter links at 27 miles and 44 miles. During Comtech’s global testing efforts in recent past, distances of the troposcatter communication links for these terminals have exceeded 160 miles for the MTTS terminal and 70 miles for the COMET terminal.

Various tests were conducted to evaluate system setup and operation, the CS67PLUS radio/modem, the differences between system diversity types, the system’s modulation and coding schemes, and the use of Comtech’s proprietary Troposcatter Digital Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technology.

With regards to the larger MTTS terminals, the testing showed that the system could be setup by two operators in less than one hour including automatic link alignment which achieves connectivity and optimizes the link in less than twenty (20) minutes, negating the need for human intervention during the antenna aiming process.

From a performance and throughput perspective, the MTTS terminals provided favorable performance in both frequency and polarization diversities with a max throughput of 87 Mbps on the 120-mile link and 41.5 Mbps on the 160-mile link. Furthermore, the MTTS systems showed they could be operated at low power (1.5W) in conjunction with the DSSS waveform and in a non-diversity configuration using only a single transmitter and a single receiver.

Testing of the small form factor troposcatter system, the COMET, showed that the systems could be setup and operational in less than 15 minutes. During the longer 44-mile COMET link testing and at full power – about 5 Watts - the system provided 16 Mbps of throughput.  However, at reduced power settings on the shorter 27-mile COMET link, the systems provided 210 Mbps of throughput using only 1 Watt of power. Additionally, the advantages of DSSS were demonstrated through an ultra-low power test where 7 Mbps of throughput was provided to the operators using only 1 milli-Watt of power

In total, the demonstration illustrated that Comtech’s Troposcatter Family of Systems is capable of meeting the BLOS communications’ needs of modern military services. Achieving communications’ links of more than one (100) hundred miles at data rates of more than 100 Mbps as put in the words of the attendees “these demonstrations vastly exceeded expectations”.