The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is conducting trials of wideband high-frequency (WBHF) technology at HMAS Harman in Canberra.
During live trials, high-quality imagery and colour video were transferred through WBHF radio, as part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) technology upgrade scheme, Plan Jericho.
The ADF was able to establish a standard internet protocol (IP) data link between an army node 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 WBHF radio technology doesn’t rely on a satellite and can transfer voice communications, messages, photographs and videos. It’s considered a major advance over the existing high-frequency (HF) radio infrastructure.
The technology can provide data rates up to ten times faster and can integrate with the existing HF infrastructure.
Air force wing commander Daniel Howarth 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.
"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."
The trial showed how the three defence services can work in conjunction with each other supported by CIOG, which is a key goal of the RAAF’s Plan Jericho.
The communications system testing is a joint initiative involving the Australian Army, Navy, RAAF, CIOG, and industry partner Rockwell Collins.
Howarth added: "We must strive to operate more closely, providing purposeful outcomes.
"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."