troposcatter technology in the field

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

Bouncing radio signals off the troposphere — the layer just below the Earth’s stratosphere — is good business for Comtech Communications Corp. of Melville.

Its troposcatter technology is the basis for a new $11 million order from a Middle Eastern government, Comtech said this week. Comtech did not name the foreign government.

Comtech's mobile 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.

Troposcatter systems operate without the use of satellites to send radio messages over the horizon, or over uneven terrain. It is used often by off-shore oil rigs.

They 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.

The subsidiary, Comtech Systems Inc., is based in Orlando, Fla. The  systems use the company's “CS3000A trailer mounted angle diversity antenna design."

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