August 23, 2016 - An industry first, Rockwell Collins completed the complex data transfer from a C-17 airborne aircraft to a ground station over a Wideband High Frequency (WBHF) channel. Rockwell Collins collaborated with the U.S. Air Force to prove the viability of WBHF data transfer over the duration of a two-day flight, between Dover AFB Delaware and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, using a Wideband HF Receiver-Exciter configured for airborne operation.
“WBHF is a highly reliable solution for the transfer of data, including video, and the perfect complement to traditional SATCOM communications in denied environments,” said Mike Jones, vice president and general manager, Navigation & Electronic Warfare Solutions, “The result is a low-cost replacement that leverages the platform’s current HF system infrastructure to create an HF solution with performance never before available.”
During the demonstration, the transfer included streaming video, real-time chat, file transfers and digital voice audio. By testing the capabilities over the course of two days, teams were able to prove performance and reliability with changing variables such as environment, geographical position and time of day. During this demonstration communication links were made, and data passed over a distance of more than 1,500 miles.
WBHF offers the highest data throughput in comparison to legacy HF and complements satellite communications, moving information quickly with the highest fidelity as possible, even in satellite-limited or denied environments. WBHF upgrades can greatly increase performance and capacity of current HF infrastructure.
Military commanders, tanker operators, agencies and Department of Defense services can benefit from WBHF in several ways such as uninterrupted, large file transfer with speeds up to comparable to narrowband SATCOM systems, elimination of vulnerability and availability issues, and enhanced voice capabilities with cellular quality communications.Rockwell Collins has been a leader in HF technology since 1933, supplying HF communications equipment to U.S. and allied military forces. One hundred percent of today’s USAF bomber, tanker and airlift fleets operate Rockwell Collins’ current generation HF radio systems. WBHF technology is the only modernized HF solution that will deliver net-centric, high-speed communications at costs that are in line with today’s tighter military budgets.