Sending email via HF

Barrett Communications Pty Ltd

Wednesday, 23 March, 2016

Sending email via HF

An Australian-designed HF email solution saved the day during a recent multinational communications interoperability exercise.

Over 300 military and civilian communications specialists from 21 Indo-Asia-Pacific nations came together late last year for the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) exercise, PACIFIC ENDEAVOR.

The annual humanitarian and disaster relief event was the culmination of 12 months of planning and was designed to strengthen relationships between allies and partners by testing communications responses to a simulated natural disaster.

The 2015 event was based around the crisis response to a simulated 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the Philippines capital of Manila.

The Interoperability Assessment event included radio testing focusing on HF Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) and radio over IP. Sixteen nations volunteered to bring equipment and participate in the assessments; four of those nations used equipment from Australia’s Barrett Communications.

The Interoperability Assessment stalled at the first hurdle due to interoperability issues with HF data. With each of the participating nations supplying their own equipment, multiple data waveforms were unable to interoperate.

John Rosica, president of NVIS Communications, the Barrett System Integrator for the US market, who was attending the event in his capacity as a US Army Military Auxiliary Radio System member, was called on to use his skills to help overcome the HF data issues.

John Rosica, sitting in front of a laptop computer

NVIS Communications' John Rosica.

By selecting a single data environment, multiple data waveforms could operate over HF. The Clover modem and Barrett 2020 email and data system installed in the Barrett equipment was used as the common environment to transmit and receive the emails, creating a local area network without the need for a connection to the internet.

“The other participating nations were not familiar with the Barrett 2020 email and data system but found it easy to operate as they were connected to it via their own familiar mail client software such as MS Outlook or Lotus Notes,” said Rosica. “This benefits the operator as there is not a new ‘emergency system’ to use when the internet connection is no longer available, due to natural disaster or another event.

“From their perspective it is their everyday system just routed via HF rather than an Ethernet connection.”

The Barrett Communications 2020 system

The Barrett Communications 2020 system.

Major Mohammad Anisur Rahman of the Bangladesh Army attended PACIFIC ENDEAVOR and operated his recently procured Barrett PRC-2090 base station. “The ability to transfer email over HF with the Barrett 2020 is such an enormous and useful option of the radio,” Major Rahman said. “It was a great experience of mine to exchange emails from a radio station which is not connected to the internet.”

“Our equipment is designed to be intuitive to use and simple to set up, so it is pleasing to hear this feedback about how straightforward it was to interoperate Barrett equipment with the seven other OEM HF suppliers who participated at this event,” said Greg O’Neill, managing director of Barrett Communications.

“We were pleased to see the initial interoperability issues with HF data were overcome with strong test results following the assessments,” added Scott L Griffin, US Pacific Command Technical Director of the Multinational Communications Interoperability Program.

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