The Australian Defence Force has transferred high quality imagery and colour video via Wideband High Frequency (WBHF) radio as part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s technology upgrade, Plan Jericho.
Today’s trial of the WBHF technology at HMAS Harman in Canberra is a major technical advance over the existing High Frequency (HF) radio infrastructure.
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.
Voice communications, messages, photographs and videos can all be transferred via the WBHF radio which doesn’t rely on a satellite.
This technology can provide data rates up to 10 times faster than what is available in current fielded systems and allows existing HF infrastructure to integrate the new WBHF system.
The testing of the communications system is a joint initiative involving Army, Navy, Air Force and CIOG, in collaboration with industry partner Rockwell Collins.
Air Force Wing Commander Daniel Howarth said the enhanced HF communications capability could provide a backup to existing satellite communications.
“Being able to transfer secure data via the WBHF radio could provide greater flexibility and survivability to the Australian Defence Force in the future,” he said.
“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.”
WGCDR Howarth said the trial was a great example of the three Defence services working in conjunction with each other supported by CIOG; a key goal of Air Force’s Plan Jericho.
“We must strive to operate more closely, providing purposeful outcomes,” he said.
“It’s important for us to turn the Air Force into a fifth-generation service, and the use of advanced systems like this, will help us do that.”
Ministerio de defensa australiano