For the first time, Rockwell Collins and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) demonstrated the successful transmission of wideband high frequency (WBHF) communications from a ground station to a RAAF C-17A Globemaster III aircraft, during Avalon 2017.
Under Plan Jericho, Rockwell Collins collaborated with the RAAF's 36 Squadron and the Plan Jericho team to initiate and complete the complex data transfer. As part of the demonstration, the ground station team located in Geelong, Australia, transmitted data to a static C-17A aircraft.
During the test, the ground station and aircraft exchanged several data transmissions including streaming video, real-time chat, file transfers and digital voice audio. This demonstration builds on the October 2015 trial of WBHF technology between a P-3C aircraft at RAAF Edinburgh and HMAS Harman in Canberra, and the August 2016 demonstration of modernized WBHF air-to-ground connectivity in a C-17 live flight test in cooperation with the United States Air Force.
"Being able to transfer secure data via the WBHF radio could provide greater operational resilience to the Australian Defence Force in the future, especially in satellite denied environments," said Air Force's Director of Plan Jericho Group Captain Carl Newman. "Whether it's a real time conversation, streamed live video or the rapid transfer of large data files between an aviation platform, and support or command and control elements for a broad range of missions, this technology has the ability to deliver a true sovereign beyond line of sight communications capability for defence, and one that complements and hardens existing networks."
WBHF is a highly reliable solution for the transfer of data, including video, and complementary to traditional SATCOM communications in denied environments. WB technology uses existing HF architecture to provide fast and more secure data transfer.
"WBHF technology is the only modernised HF solution that will deliver net-centric, high-speed communications at costs that are in line with today's tighter military budgets," said Jim Walker, vice president and managing director, Asia Pacific for Rockwell Collins. "This demonstration shows the operational gains available through close cooperation between industry and the Royal Australian Air Force under Plan Jericho."
As a leader in HF technology since 1933, Rockwell Collins supplies HF communications equipment to allied military forces around the world. Rockwell Collins HF radios are used extensively by the Australian Defence Force in both surface and air applications. WBHF technology is the only modernised HF solution that will deliver net-centric, high-speed communications at costs that are in line with today's tighter military budgets.