HF & DEFENSEPrint page
Real-world RF in HF & Defense
For decades, HF systems have provided the communications hotline for defense forces and civilian groups around the world. Flexibility and reliability are paramount at the ever-shifting battle-front. Voice communications have been the primary focus; but with digital technologies on the horizon, transmitting tactical data via HF systems is now an attractive prospect.
The aging of many existing HF installations (now 20 to 30 years) result in escalating maintenance costs. Network operators are thus faced with the need to upgrade their infrastructure in order to keep maintenance costs under control and future-proof the system for the inevitable migration to digital.
With communications hops of up to 4,000 kilometers, HF systems are a complex function of the area and distance to be covered, ionospheric conditions and the specifications of the antenna. A key challenge of HF system design is selecting the right antenna for purpose, while ensuring that capex, opex and total lifecycle cost are taken into consideration.
Radio Frequency Systems delivers total RF solutions for HF communication systems. Whether part of an upgrade or a new deployment, each and every antenna system is fully custom-designed and optimized for the specific application.
RFS’s base range of broadband HF antennas includes more than 18 different designs--including vertically and horizontally polarized log periodic, wideband monopole and biconical dipole antennas. These are combined with RFS’s leading transmission line range--which includes the world’s only 8 and 9-inch air-dielectric coaxial cables--to deliver complete HF systems from the output of the transmitter. Where required, we can also integrate RF switching equipment into the system.
A key component of RFS’s system design and optimization capability is computer simulation and analysis. This takes into account prediction of ionospheric behavior and antenna specifications to enable coverage pattern simulation, and ensures the HF communications system will achieve the desired performance.
The bottom line
For more than 35 years, Radio Frequency Systems has been a global expert in HF communication systems for defense and civilian applications. Our extensive engineering design capability and holistic approach ensure our HF systems deliver the required flexibility and performance at all times: the signal on the ground, exactly where it’s wanted, at exactly the strength needed.
RFS takes the challenge out of HF system design. We take responsibility for the whole RF system, focusing on antenna and feeder equipment selection to minimize both capex and opex. Our high-gain antennas provide many advantages, not the least of which is enabling lower-power system design upstream.
HF communications play a critical role in any defense campaign. To ensure their reliability, RFS systems are specially designed to be low-maintenance and long life. Whether or not the current goal is migration to digital, RFS HF communications systems have in-built future-proofing and battle-ready robustness.