Triad RF Systems, a designer and manufacturer of amplifiers and integrated radio systems, has developed a line of Amplified Radio Systems to address the challenge of unmanned systems. Boosting the power and distance over which one can maintain the integrity of a radio's output has never been more important than it is with the meteoric rise in unmanned systems. Distance, weather, and power differentials can all contribute to signal degradation or slowdowns -- any of which can cause fatal flaws in the ISR radio links. As one looks for solutions to help boost signal strength and quality, it often becomes a question of whether to add new BDAs (bi-directional amplifiers), add more power, or simply re-engineer the systems to provide more consistent output over time.
The Amplified Radio Systems from Triad RF Systems have been developed to address these challenges.
Addressing the Build vs. Buy Decision
Is it better to build necessary functionality from scratch or find a pre-built solution that simply needs to be customized? While it is often tempting to build something that precisely fits one’s unique scenario and operational requirements, it’s not unusual for these homegrown solutions to suffer from signal degradation, particularly over long distances. These in-house integrations frequently fail to achieve the size, weight, performance, and cost objectives (SWaP-C) required of a long-distance radio link. Unmanned aerial vehicles/systems (UAV/UAS) and ground/surface vehicles (UGV/USV) that frequently operate in harsh weather conditions and challenging terrain are common applications where TRIAD Amplified Radio Systems are finding the best use.
Turning to a bolt-on ISR data link solution is not an unusual thing to do. In fact, some companies have complete RF/microwave integration teams for this necessity. But the unfortunate reality is that each bi-directional amplifier (BDA) that is added to the system has the potential to reduce the overall performance of the link. Plus, each integration point leaves yet another connection that will require troubleshooting if one is having problems with signal strength and quality. Even a slight shift in power drift due to temperature outputs can significantly impact performance, with each additional BDA causing stacked issues that can affect the range of a link by up to 30% over a single flight test. A primary issue routinely uncovered during in-house integration is that creating a dependable long-distance radio link requires extensive expertise in the optimization of RF margins. It’s usually discovered of course long after the decision to integrate in-house has been made.
The RF amplifiers and ISR link solutions deliver in even the most challenging conditions, providing the operators with the added confidence of knowing that signals will be crisp and clear.
A Tech Brief comparing the various tradeoffs related to self-assembly vs. purchasing turnkey TRIAD RF Systems' amplified radios can be downloaded here.