AIRBORNE MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS
Maximum Possible Coverage & Bandwidth
DIGITAL OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
Military digital communications using high frequency radio waves are becoming more and more important as the advantages to the warfighter of ready access to digitally transmitted data such as visual charts, GPS locations , text messaging and video images become apparent. Sensors relying on digital comms can protect fleets from missile attack, clear minefields and track submarines. Significantly, digitalisation now also allows radio traffic to differentiate between numerous unmanned vehicles, giving a vast new unmanned force to those who learn to how to exploit this potential.
However, a problem emerges when high frequency radio waves wish to be exploited. The user discovers that digital radio waves travel in straight lines, whereas the Earth is curved and has hills and mountains on the land which stop radio waves travelling between radio handsets. This inevitably results in loss of signal. Perfect radio line-of-sight is required. Also, high frequency digital radio waves are attenuated to a greater extent than low frequency waves by things such as low-lying vegetation, buildings, waves, salt spray and precipitation. It is found that the movement of small boats into wave troughs and irregular movements of antennas reduces the theoretical radio range considerably. In practice, a broadband high-frequency radio signal that could theoretically travel 30 NM may in fact only be received reliably 10 NM away.
TWO PART SOLUTION
The answer to this problem entails the mastery of two aspects of digital radio propagation.
1. The manufacture of excellent digital radio relays
2. The positioning of them at high altitude.
Numerous excellent digital radio-relays now exist in the form of superb MANET radios and small cell-phone base stations. The problem that remains is the positioning of these relays at useful altitude, when required, in the right place, easily and cheaply – in all weathers. This is a huge problem, and one that the militaries of the world have spent billions of dollars trying to overcome mainly by use of satellites. However, satellites are relatively low bandwidth, inflexible, prone to attenuation by vegetation and incapable of ever realising the bandwidth requirements of swarms of unmanned vehicles.
The solution to this high-altitude positioning problem is fundamental to the progress of high bandwidth military radio communications. If it is not grasped then digital communications and the military operations relying on it, will forever remain either relatively low-bandwidth satellite based, or short-range and vulnerable mast based.
Militaries unable to put radio-relays into the air will be unable to compete with those that can do so. So, airborne platforms are the second essential pillar of military communications.
THE WORLD’S BEST MILITARY AIRBORNE COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM
High-altitude, all-weather Helikite aerostats are the world’s most reliable and economical method of lifting mass into the sky ever devised. All other methods are approximately 200 times more expensive. Tough, double-lined Desert Star Helikites are very well suited to military life and have been extensively used in conflicts areas worldwide including Afghanistan, Middle East, Africa, and South America. Both at sea and on land.
Helikites lifting MANET radios or 4G relays create an extensive area in which there is full broadband radio communications for personnel, ships, sensors and unmanned vehicles - limited only by the numbers of Helikites and radios available.
Helikites have proven they can provide a simple, reliable way of greatly increasing military radio-range and bandwidth at very little cost. No extra ships, masts, vehicles, aircraft or inter-service co-operation is required. Helikites are significant force multipliers that can immediately increase reduce exposure to risk for personnel so reducing casualties.
In Ukraine, Helikites easily overcome the worlds most sophisticated jamming by lifting radio-relays high into the sky where Russian ground-based jammers are largely ineffective.
Ultimately the Helikites’ greatest virtue is its ability to allow network-centric war-fighters far removed from the battlefield, to directly help their colleagues at sea via the remote operation of unmanned vehicles, mines, munitions and sensors.
Helikites plus MANET radios and 4G, allow a vast previously untapped, worldwide network, of thousands of human and computer resources, to be concentrated into the centre of the battlefield in an instant. This is force-multiplication on an industrial scale.