Testing of STANAG 4538 (3G HF) implemented in Harris RF-5800H

FFI-Report 2005

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Vivianne Jodalen Ove Grønnerud
NATO has produced a number of standards (STANAG's) for HF communications. Among these is STANAG 4538 "Technical Standards for an Automatic Radio Control System (ARCS) for HF Communications Links", also called 3G HF technology. The NATO group expressed strong interest in seeing test results from over-th-air testing of this STANAG, and a three-nation test group was formed. The UK, NL and Norway established six radio stations in the respective countries and performed joint testing of the Harris implementation of STANAG 4538 (RF-5800H). The main conclusions are: Compared to 2G HF represented by Mil-Std 188-141A, Fed-Std 1052 and Mil-Std 188-110A, the S4538 outperforms 2G by more than doubling the throughput for large files and showing robust performance during bad channel conditions. Link setup gives particularly enhanced performance with reduced linking times and increased robustness. A considerably worse performance was observed on the high latitude path than on the mid-latitude paths. Good connectivity was achieved between all nodes of the network using a one-way point-to-multipoint link setup. Sounding and the use of channel scores is an important tool for rapid linking at a good frequency.

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