Microwave Journal

Triad Amplified Radio Systems Extend Link Ranges Up to 10x

April 21, 2020

Triad RF Systems announced the launch of a line of Triad amplified radios that extend the range of the most widely used wireless mesh or mobile ad hoc network (MANET)/MIMO radios in the industry. The creation and launch of these turnkey high-power radios is in direct response to customer challenges experienced when bi-directional amplifier (BDA) modules are “bolted-on” in-house to achieve additional output power. These in-house integrations frequently fail to achieve the size, weight, performance and cost objectives required of long-distance radio links. Unmanned aerial vehicles/systems and ground/surface vehicles that frequently operate in harsh weather conditions and challenging terrain, are exemplary applications where Triad amplified radio systems offer a great advantage.
Triad amplified radios are built around the radio platforms of several well-known manufacturers, such as Silvus Technologies, Domo Tactical Communications, Microhard Systems and Doodle Labs, to name a few. Out-of-the-box, many of these radios are capable of UDP throughputs in excess of 50 Mbps, which can typically support data-intensive tasks, such as multiple HD video feeds. As advanced unmanned systems continue to improve maximum operation times however, command, control, and throughput requirements over longer distances are moving beyond these radios’ stand-alone capabilities, and higher RF power is required. 

Before Triad amplified radios, the common method for increasing a radio link’s range was to connect a BDA in line with the microwave radio’s RF port and antenna. In other applications, such as MIMO mesh radios, up to four individual BDAs were required to accomplish the necessary power increase. A primary issue routinely uncovered with either of these methods, is that creating a dependable long-distance radio link requires extensive experience in the optimization of RF margins. Unmanned system engineering teams that have experienced under-performing links after assembling their own amplification systems have routinely cited these multi-faceted challenges:  
•    Overcoming free space path loss over distance
•    Ensuring the signal arrives at the receiver with the exact signal-to-noise (SNR) to meet the minimum signal quality required for dependable reception and demodulation 
•    Generating a clean signal that rises above the electromagnetic interference (EMI) that routinely originates from either a co-located system in the vehicle, or from man-made RF noise present in the area of operation
•    Drift in gain, power, signal-to-noise ratio and other variables over temperature and frequency
•    Co-channel RFI issues
•    Insufficient RF and/or DC bus filtering to mitigate EMI/RFI issues
•    Sub-optimal cables, interconnects
•    Antenna selection/positioning
•    Video encoder optimization and radio settings errors
•    Lack of maintenance and establishment of pre- and post- flight tests and checks to ensure that the links are always working at peak performance levels

Triad amplified radios are fully integrated and optimized solutions that are the result of extensive experience in custom development of the highest data-rate, longest range wireless links for the intelligence, surveillance and recognizance (ISR) community.

The THPR series of amplified radio modules from TRIAD also address all power drift issues by including advanced active power control and equalization circuitry. This ensures that both the RF output power and SNR delivered to the antenna remains ultra-stable in the presence of any fluctuations.

In addition to unmanned/ISR data link applications, Triad amplified radios offer a high-power, low-cost, lightweight solution to next-generation C4ISR, Military Mesh, MANET and tracking antenna systems.