Length: 5 Days
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Tactical HF/VHF/UHF/SHF Communications Training Bootcamp

Tactical HF/VHF/UHF/SHF Communications Training Bootcamp

From remote locations, to areas with compromised conventional communications infrastructure, tactical operators face an uphill battle staying in contact with others in the field and at headquarters.

Additionally, individuals often face trying ground conditions, requiring all equipment to be ruggedized against anything that could be thrown at it.

Tactical HF radios offer a solution totally apart from anything else. Ionospheric data transmission means communications are propagated by a transceiver broadcast which “bounces back” from the Earth’s atmosphere to another radio device.

This enables operators to send information over thousands of kilometers (or further) to others in the field or to operational headquarters.

In other words, tactical HF radios remain extremely important to military communications.

Military analysts are in agreement that tactical communications are firmly at the center of military thinking, and members of military and law enforcement agencies around the world need the ability to communicate in remote areas where no traditional infrastructure exists.

Out in the field, self-sufficient communications and the ability to transmit voice, email, and data are imperative. This is where high frequency (HF) radio comes into its own.

High-frequency (HF) radio communications have been an element of civil and military communications for decades.

With the inherent ability to communicate at distances that span the globe, HF has provided an accessible and versatile tool for long-haul communications. During World War II, for example, HF communications were the primary means for ship-to-shore and ground-to-air communications.

Adjusting HF and antenna orientation enables radio waves to either traverse the ground (ground or surface wave) or refract off the ionosphere (sky wave); this flexibility results in communications that can penetrate thick tree canopies, reach into valleys and provide reliable voice communications over long distances.

The advantage of HF communications is that it does not rely on any other infrastructure other than the radio equipment on either end of the link.

Nowhere is this more important than in DoD case uses. In the military, HF communications is used as a basic long-range command and control medium for communications between Headquarters (HQ’s) in all services

The Air Force and Navy use HF communications for long range command and control of aircraft and ships.The Air Force also uses HF as a means for pilots to place telephone calls using the High Frequency Global Communications System (HF-GCS).

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) and Civil Air Patrol (CAP) also extensively use HF communications in support of the Department of Defense.

On the federal side, agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) use HF for over the ocean communications for air traffic control, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) uses HF radar to measure ocean currents on both the east and west coasts.

Effective HF communications have been seen as a skill to be mastered. An understanding of environmental conditions, antenna takeoff angle, signal amplification and frequency propagation are all elements to consider for successful communications over HF.

Though HF has been a powerful tool, it has taken mastery of communicators to harness the power.

Tactical HF/VHF/UHF/SHF Communications Training Bootcamp by Tonex

Tactical HF/VHF/UHF/SHF Communications Training Bootcamp is a 5-day training course focuses on tactical HF/VHF/UHF/SHF radio and how it integrates into tactical systems. Delegates will learn about the key principles, technology and applications of tactical HF, VHF, UHF and SHF communications. Basic tactical applications and systems, tactical ISR, EW, HF propagation concepts, spectrum, channelization, regulation, structure of Ionosphere and Sky Waves, propagation effects, modulation, antennas, power and link budget.

Tonex is an industry leader in the rapid delivery of innovative technical training, seminars and consulting services for the global electronic warfare (EW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and tactical ISR.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of Tactical HF Communications Training course, participants are able to:

  • Describe the basics of tactical HF communications and systems.
  • List the architecture elements and key components of tactical HF communication systems.
  • Explain the key principals behind HF waveform and how they operate in different environments.
  • Specify, design, build and test a tactical HF communications system.
  • Describe the current applications and future trends for technical HF communication.

 Course Modules

Day 1: Overview of Tactical Domains and Applications

  • Air
  • Land
  • Sea
  • Sub-Surface
  • Space
  • Cyber

Applications of Tactical RF Communications

  • Ad-hoc, self-healing & adaptive networking
  • Airborne
  • Airborne Electronic Warfare
  • Airborne ISR
  • Airborne Sensors
  • Airborne Solutions
  • Aircraft Missionization and Modernization
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Battlefield Management
  • Command and Control (C2)
  • Defense Communications
  • Electronic Warfare (EW)
  • EO/IR Airborne Sensor Solutions
  • EO/IR Payloads
  • Ground Based Electronic Warfare
  • Handheld, Manpack, Narrowband, Multiband and Wideband HF/VHF/UHF/SHF
  • ISR and SIGINT
  • ISR voice, Video and High-speed Data
  • Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)
  • Maritime Electronic Warfare
  • Missions requiring mobility, high-speed data, voice, and video.
  • Multiband Networking Manpack Radio
  • Multi-channel Handheld Radio
  • MUOS, SATCOM and Legacy Narrowband
  • Navigation of Unmanned and Autonomous Vehicles
  • Protected/contested Communications.
  • SHF bands for Aircraft Missionization and Avionics
  • Standalone Solution for BLOS Communications
  • Wideband Networking Handheld Radio

Day 2: Introduction to RF Theory and Advanced RF and Antenna Training

Day 3: Applied RF Circuit Engineering

Day 4: Modeling and Simulation RF Systems

Day 5: Tactical HF/VHF/UHF/UHF Communications Systems

Day 6: Fundamentals of SDR (Software-Defined Radio)

Day 7: Tactical Radio Systems Engineering with SDR

Day 9: Tactical HF/VHF/UHF/UHF Antenna Design and Creation Labs

Hands-on Labs   

  • Labs 1, 2 and 3 with Signal and Wave Propagation Demos
  • Labs 4 and 5: PortaPack HackRF One Workshop (Hands-on using Portapack H2+ Mayhem Firmware HackRFOne)
  • Lab 6: Tactical HF/VHF/UHF/UHF Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) Lab


Hands-on Workshops and Demos

  • Working with spectrum analyzers
  • Antenna design, creation, and testing labs (Students will make their own VHF/UHF antennas; Tonex provides material)
  • Working with GNU Radio, SDR modules and HackRF One (Students get their own HackRF One tool including a private spectrum analyzer features)
  • Analyzing GNU radio companion transmitter and receiver designs
  • Propagation prediction model program (software RFCAD in a virtual environment on PC)
  • Overview of Gallium Nitride power amplifiers and the benefits for transmitter design
  • Math analysis of frequency hopping and spread- spectrum methods for interference avoidance (some nice graphics and the equations) and a practical talk through of how these are such big advantages (Used in tactical communications systems)

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