Though tropospheric scatter (troposcatter, or tropo) communications technology has existed since the 1950s and was used by the U.S. military from 1960 to 2002, this legacy technology is being revitalized in the wake of concerns around the reliability of tactical satellite communications (Satcom). For several decades, satellites were a reliable and secure method of communications that provided strategic services for every branch of the military. However, as the technology of non-allied countries has improved, satellites and Satcom systems are becoming more vulnerable. Many are looking again to troposcatter technology to help ensure critical voice and data communication are transmitted securely around the globe.
The following provides insights into the challenges and requirements of tactical troposcatter communications and further discusses COTS hardware solutions that mitigate the design challenges and meet requirements of the latest troposcatter applications.