Radio

SOCOM pursues handheld, software defined radio with built-in ISR receiver

Harris Corp. is working with Special Operations Command to develop a new handheld, two-channel radio with an ISR receiver to enable drone video convergence, company officials said.

The radio, called RF-335, will be tested this coming fall. It is designed to utilize wideband waveforms and a datalink to support full-motion video from nearby drones.

“In the past, someone on the ground would have a traditional comms radio and use an ISR receiver. This converges those capabilities into one platform by pulling down video from the air, cross-banding the video into a two-channel radio,” said Dennis Moran, senior vice president at Harris.

The radio functions like existing software programmable radios, using high-bandwidth waveforms to network voice, video and data across the force in real time. Setting up an ad hoc terrestrial network, the radios are designed to function as a battlefield network in austere environments where there is no satellite connectivity or fixed infrastructure.

Harris is also building upon this radio technology with a RF-345 two-channel, vehicle or soldier-mounted man pack radio.

“We add filtering so we can operate those radios close together without interference,” Moran said.

About the Author

Kris Osborn is editor-in-chief of Defense Systems. He can be reached at kosborn@1105media.com.