Raytheon demos troposphere high-speed link

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Culver City (CA) - Raytheon and the United States Marines have demoed a new high-speed communications device that bounces signals off the troposphere layer of the atmosphere.  The Dual-Mode All-Band Re-locatable Tactical Terminal (DART-T) can transmit up to 20 Mbps to personnel hundreds, maybe even thousands of miles away.

The device is an updated version of other “TROPO” terminals that the military uses to bounces signals off the 6.2 mile high troposphere.  While atmospheric communications may seem old-fashioned to the uninitiated, such devices don’t need a satellite fix and can be easily transported.

For Ham radio fanatics, this news isn’t that new because they have been bouncing communications through the atmosphere and even off the moon for several decades.  In fact, ham radio associations often have contests for longest transmit distances.  Most of these communications have been short morse code messages or unencrypted voice snippnets.  In contrast, Raytheon’s device can burst up to 20 Mbps.