troposcatter technology in the field

troposcatter technology in the field Credit: U.S. Army

A unit of the Melville-based defense and commercial satellite communications maker Comtech Telecommunications Corp. has a new $5.5 million U.S. Army contract for its mobile troposcatter system.

The contract was awarded to Orlando, Florida-based subsidiary, Comtech Systems, Inc., by a prime U.S. defense contractor for end use by the U.S. Army. The product is the Modular Transportable Troposcatter System, which operates without the use of satellites to send radio messages over the horizon, or over uneven terrain.

Fred Kornberg, president and chief executive of Comtech Telecommunications Corp., said in a prepared statement, “This award for additional MTTS terminals is a testament to our industry-leading and field-proven troposcatter system technology. We are pleased that MTTS will play an important role in delivering mission-critical bandwidth to the battlefield.”

Bouncing radio signals off the troposphere — the layer just below the Earth’s stratosphere — has long been good business for Comtech, whose troposcatter system equipment has civilian and military uses. The U.S. military relied on it, for example, during both the 1990 and 2003 invasions of Iraq; it is deployed by oil companies to link off-shore oil rigs, and by at least one Caribbean archipelago nation as an inter-island communications link.

The systems point radio signals to atmospheric levels at heights of between 5 miles and 11 miles where dust and other particles reflect some of the scattered signals downward to sensitive receivers.

Photo shows the Comtech troposcatter satellite system.

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