DARPA to Develop High-Speed Surface to Air Wireless

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced plans to create technology capable of transmitting data to aircraft 60,000 feet in the air at speeds of 100 Gbps.

by / December 17, 2012

The U.S. military is developing wireless networking technology 500 times faster than what's currently used to communicate between aircraft and the ground in war zones. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced on Dec. 14 development of a wireless common data link (CDL) capable of transmitting data at 100 Gbps, according to a press release. According to ExtremeTech, current U.S. military CDL technology typically reaches a maximum of 250 Mbps.

The wireless backbone is intended to replace traditional fiber broadband networks in areas where war makes such technologies impractical to deploy. The exact goal of the project will be to create a 100 Gbps data link between an aircraft 60,000 feet in the air and the ground. One major challenge in creating such a high-bandwidth, low-latency wireless technology is cloud cover.

“The system will be designed to provide all-weather capability enabling tactically relevant data throughput and link ranges through clouds, fog or rain. Technical advances in modulation of millimeter-wave frequencies open the door to achieving 100G’s goals,” a DARPA press release reads.

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