General Dynamics technicians test the two-channel AN/PRC-155 Manpack radio in production at the Scottsdale facility. (Image courtesy of General Dynamics C4 Systems)

Manpack Radio Plus MUOS Satellite Equals Long-Distance Military Comms

Sept. 11, 2014
A demonstration using two-channel Manpack radios and Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellites showed how the technology can deliver secure communications over long distances for military purposes.

To deliver next-generation narrowband satellite communications (SATCOM), the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellites leverage technology similar to that of…an average smartphone? Integral to the system is General Dynamics C4 Systems’ AN/PRC-155 two-channel Manpack radios. General Dynamics recently demonstrated how the radios could close a 2000-mile communications gap, bridging Line of Sight Rifleman Radio and Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) radio communications to orbiting MUOS satellites.

For the demonstration, radio operators equipped with PRC-154A Rifleman radios in Taunton, Mass., formed a local network using the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). Also part of the network was a PRC-155 Manpack radio located nearby. The two-channel Manpack radio seamlessly bridged the SRW communications to the necessary MUOS frequency. The voice and data communications jumped from the ground in Taunton to the MUOS satellite, back to the ground in Phoenix, Ariz., to connect to a second Manpack radio. That second radio then bridged MUOS communications on one channel to the SINCGARS frequency needed for the second dismounted group of users with SINGCAR radios.

Watch the video below for more on the two-channel Manpack radio, courtesy of General Dynamics:

In the end, they successfully created a real-time SATCOM “radio check” voice conversation that was loud and clear for the operators in both locations. The technology could provide a 16-fold increase in transmission throughput compared to current ultra-high-frequency (UHF) satellites. PRC-155 Manpack radios had previously been used to complete secure voice and data calls from Alaska and the Arctic Circle using the MUOS satellite and ground communications network.