While it's easy enough to envision soldiers scaling battlegrounds with portable hotspots in tow, it's a useless solution for warriors deployed to remote areas that have patchy service to begin with. Enter the KnightHawk 3G, a rugged network-in-a-box that cooks up connectivity in otherwise uncovered areas. The self-contained WCDMA network runs over the 2100MHz spectrum, promising download speeds as fast as 14.4mbps and max upload rates of 5.76mbps. It has capacity for up to 60 simultaneous voice calls and can handle 14 HSPA connections at a time. And it'll help keep our troops in top shape -- you can't tell from the photos, but that thing weighs 45 pounds.
Gallery | 5 Photos
Harris Corporation Introduces Tactical 3G Cellular Network-in-a-Box for Warfighters
MELBOURNE, Fla., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Provides warfighters with 3G cellular service capabilities in remote and rugged locations
Super-fast connectivity enables warfighters to become on-the-move sensors
Small size, weight and power (SWaP) for mobile or fixed deployments
Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS), an international communications and information technology company, has introduced KnightHawk™ 3G - a ruggedized, highly mobile tactical base station that enables warfighters on the move to maintain 3G cellular services in locations with limited or no cellular connectivity.
Jointly developed by Harris and Battleground Telecommunications Systems (BTS™), KnightHawk 3G is a customizable cellular Network In a Box (NIB) compatible with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment, including smartphones and tablets. Each KnightHawk 3G is installed with BTS Praefectus™ Mission Management Software, which automates configuration and management of the cellular network, and enables each KnightHawk to operate autonomously or as a scalable network with hundreds of nodes for increased range. This compatibility allows users in the battlefield to leverage existing applications, thereby enabling them to track a team's location, automatically translate foreign languages, and conduct remote training using existing advanced programs.
KnightHawk 3G features UMTS High Speed Packet Access, providing extremely fast connectivity of 14.4 mbps for downloads and up to 5.76 mbps for uploads. It also offers the benefits of small size, weight and power (SWaP), making it ideal for mobile, multi-mission requirements in challenging environments.
"KnightHawk 3G is a landmark system that gives the U.S. military immediate access to millions of low-cost commercial devices already on the market while maintaining compatibility with future standards," said Dan Pearson, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Harris. "Our unique solution blends the principle of interoperability with capabilities that use the current cellular tower model and enables the military to deploy it on a variety of platforms while on the move."
"KnightHawk 3G allows the warfighter to train, fight and communicate more effectively by bringing cutting-edge 3G/4G commercial technology, such as the Droid, iPhone®, iPad®, and other advanced devices to the battlefield," said Sean Lane, BTS chief executive officer. "From an intelligence perspective, KnightHawk 3G enables every warfighter to become a sensor with the ability to report audio, video, and other data to commanders in real time."