Cambridge firm develops satellite radio for US military
Cambridge Consultants has completed initial trials with Iridium Communications to test components of a push-to-talk (PTT) radio system for the US Department of Defense (DoD).
The technology developed by Cambridge Consultants for the Distributed Tactical Communications System (DTCS) includes software radio functionality that will provide multiple receiver capability and synchronisation to Iridium satellites.
This is designed to improve connection speed and call quality. There are also encrypted bearer channels support encrypted communication within groups.
“We have been working with Iridium since 2003 as its design partner, and are excited to be extending our long-term relationship on this groundbreaking project,” said Richard Traherne, head of the wireless division at Cambridge Consultants.
The advantage of the satellite-based system is that soldiers in isolated areas can communicate without the need for ground infrastructure.
Cambridge Consultants has developed radio transceiver electronics for DTCS handheld radios, as well as gateway infrastructure to support the DTCS service.
Both of these elements are critical to the success of the system, with the gateway element ultimately targeting a ‘five nines’ (99.999%) reliability rating, to ensure that soldiers have service when they need it most.
“Cambridge Consultants has a proven track record of developing technically challenging and ‘mission critical’ communications technologies, and bringing them to operational readiness quickly,” said Iridium executive vice-president for government programs Lt Gen John Campbell (USAF-Ret).