One of the main challenges which
surfaced in recent conflicts in Israel and Iraq is the shortage of
bandwidth, particularly in frequencies allocated for datalinks
(video and telemetry communications). New systems are already
maturing, with the introduction of enhancements for current VHF
and UHF communications systems, introduction of digital datalinks
and utilization of existing infrastructure such as commercial and
military cellular networks.
One of the primary efforts is to extract maximum data transfer
capability available with existing communications links. This
effort has already paid-off with excellent results, through
enhancement of data-communications capability of Tadiran
Communications' CNR-9000 family of manpack and vehicular radios.
The current version, CNR-9000 HDR unit can transfer 115 KBps over
standard 25Khz spaced VHF tactical radio channels. Tadiran
achieved this capability, considered to be the highest data rate
over standard VHF channel on the market, through the use of
advanced digital processing algorithms implemented into the
current set, designed as a Software Defined Radio (SDR).
IAI/Elta is demonstrating their EL/S-8018B Data & Image Exchange
Unit (DIDU) at LIC-2005 which facilitates data and high quality
image transfer over standard VHF tactical radios. When video
transfer is concerned, bandwidth restrictions become even more
critical, requiring special compression to facilitate improved
quality video exchange.
Visual Defense, a member of Emblaze
Systems group which offers video transfer technology developed for
commercial 3G cellular phones. The same technology facilitates
video archiving and distribution over existing channels, as narrow
as 10kbps, over TETRA (such as the Motorola communication's
(cellular tactical network recently fielded by the IDF), and
commercial GSM and GPRS cellular networks.
Tadiran Spectralink has fielded other
technologies to address the datalinks bandwidth allocation
challenge. The company's StarLink family of miniature datalinks is
designed to facilitate digital communications of video, data and
telemetry, over a narrow bandwidth (up to a factor of 10 compared
to existing datalinks). The datalink is designed for the new
generation of miniature UAVs, which will be fielded in large
numbers by small infantry units and Special Forces teams.