Software Defined Radios (SDRs) and IP Mesh Radios for UAV, Drones, UGVs and Robotics

DTC Mesh Radios Integrated onto U.S. Army Tactical Network

By Mike Ball / 31 Aug 2020

Miniature SDR-C for UAVs (SOLO8 Concealment)Domo Tactical Communications (DTC) has integrated its MANET (Mobile Ad-hoc Networking) Mesh radios, equipped with the company’s latest MeshUltra COFDM waveform, onto the U.S. Army tactical network. The radios are capable of extremely low-power operation at 200mW, significantly improving LPI/LPD performance while achieving exceptional range and throughput, and the new waveform doubles the number of nodes while achieving optimum scalability.

The MeshUltra Tactical COFDM waveform was designed from the ground up for optimal performance in heavy multipath and high-interference environments. It employs over 800 carriers in contrast to the 54 carriers of Wi-Fi, allowing for a lower symbol rate on each carrier and therefore much better resistance to long-range multipath reflections.

The MeshUltra waveform is MIMO (multiple input multiple output)-capable and highly spectrally efficient, particularly when compared with tactical radios that utilize constant amplitude modulations. It provides over 90Mbps in 20MHz channels and up to 5.6 Mbps in a narrow 1.25MHz channel, allowing much higher PLI update rates, low latency voice and potentially even video.

Most MANET Mesh radios employ a “contention based” channel access mechanism called CSMA (Carrier Sensed Multiple Access) in which radios with data to wait until they can see a clear channel before transmitting. CSMA networks are subject to self-interference due to “contention.” This can lead to multiple retries, thus significantly reducing real world network capacity, particularly in a large network. It also leads to very variable latency. DTC MeshUltra utilizes a token-based managed channel access mechanism in which only a radio holding the channel access token can transmit. This completely removes self-interference and allows DTC networks to operate extremely efficiency, and with low and predictable latency even at very high utilization.

DTC’s latest software release supports five different RF waveforms: three optimized Mesh waveforms, including the latest MeshUltra waveform, a backward-compatible historical standard Mesh waveform, and a Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) Mesh waveform. In addition, the platform supports a standards-based unidirectional COFDM waveform (DVB-T) and a DTC proprietary Narrowband COFDM waveform. The platform has the flexibility to be further evolved to support additional waveforms. Existing variants of the platform support Ethernet, USB, serial data, talkback audio, video and GPIO interfaces.

Juan A. Navarro, CEO of DTC, commented: “”We value our partnership with the Army and find it rewarding to see the performance DTC has achieved.”

To learn more, contact Domo Tactical Communications (DTC): Visit Website Send Message View Supplier Profile
Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact