Innovative communications systems: KNL radios deliver on promise of HF renaissance

Communications systems in the field of defence are facing a new era. At KNL, we want to equip the military with reliable and technologically advanced innovative communications systems. Our own groundbreaking Cognitive Networked HF technology brings an entirely new approach to communication on HF frequencies.

Over the last 10 years, the framework of standards set by the legacy players in the industry have not lived up to the promises made for digital HF communications systems. Our cognitive radio technology diverges from these conventional norms, introducing innovative features and capabilities that set it apart from customary ways in the industry. KNL’s approach opens up new possibilities and use cases, and enhances the performance and reliability of HF communication systems.

In this blog post, we’ll explain how KNL’s radio technology overcomes the limitations given on defence communications systems and how this benefits your or your customer’s operations.

Read also: KNL awarded ISO 9001 and AQAP 2110 certifications

KNL’s radios seamlessly integrate with communication and command and control systems, including situational awareness applications. Thanks to their standard interfaces, integrating our software-defined radios into other systems is straightforward.

Developing innovative communications systems: why KNL’s technology is ahead of others

HF communications systems have been packed with many expectations in the past years. Unfortunately, many products fail to meet the requirements of modern defence operations, being unreliable, slow, and challenging to use. That’s because most companies have been developing digital technology based on existing communication systems that were not designed for networked warfare in the first place.

We at KNL have adopted a truly distinctive approach. The Cognitive Networked HF technology employed by KNL radios represents a significant innovation, setting us apart from other HF communication systems in the industry.

KNL’s radios are capable of receiving the entire HF band and simultaneously controlling different frequency spectrums. We utilise real-time spectrum information to identify available channels for digital data transmission. Our radios continuously monitor the entire HF spectrum, which allows us to detect hostile jamming and unintentional interference with great accuracy and outperform our competitors. As a result, KNL’s connections are extremely reliable and fast. A connection can be quickly re-established automatically without any manual adjustments if a connection is lost. These features are not achievable by legacy systems.

Read more: Why are KNL’s radios the ultimate choice?

”One of KNL’s advantages with its system is that it’s a complete solution in one box.”

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Enhancing communication systems: the power of cognitive networked HF radio

In modern peer-to-peer warfare on a large scale, the paramount factors are the resiliency and low latency of data transmission. When these factors have been refined to perfection, it’s possible to create feature-rich networks that correspond precisely to the requirements of modern warfare, such as the one currently being waged in Ukraine, for example. Better real-time situational awareness with C5ISTAR (Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) capabilities and a faster OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop than the adversary is the key to success in such a scattered operational environment.

C5ISTAR capabilities require many finely-tuned features for a device to meet, such as: 

  • the integration and redundancy of multiple information systems
  • high data capacity for processing situational data
  • reliable and resilient communications in the face of heavy jamming of CNR (Combat Net Radio), SATCOM, and GPS systems
  • secure communication solutions for voice and data.

Investing in cognitive radio technology is the most effective way to achieve C5ISTAR capabilities. Software-defined cognitive radios have the unique ability to sense and adapt to their environment, achieved through spectrum sensing, decision-making, and dynamic spectrum access. KNL’s products harness these qualities of cognitive radios, offering at least ten times the speed and enhanced reliability in data transmission compared to other most HF radios in the market.

KNL’s superior product features help to seamlessly integrate intelligence and battle management, bringing significant benefits during operations. For example, chat applications can easily be integrated with our HF communication systems.

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KNL’s top features: how do our radios compare to other HF communication systems?

1. Beyond-Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) communications for very long distances, up to thousands of kilometres

KNL’s radios can establish connections from end to end, even nationwide and globally. While HF radio naturally supports this, our radios achieve it with extreme reliability. Additionally, our radios offer backup connections and connections to other networks.

Read also: Basics of HF technology

2. Automatic multihop networking for best coverage

KNL’s products are more than just point-to-point radios. They are specifically designed to establish reliable radio coverage over a large area, and that’s where our multihop feature comes in. This feature is the most effective way of providing coverage across vast regions and skip zones, i.e. regions between the farthest points at which the ground wave can be received and the nearest point at which the refracted sky waves can be received. With the multihop feature, a connection can be established in all circumstances.

Read more: Multihop – The easiest way to expand your range

3. Seamless integration to tactical communications and C2 systems

KNL’s radios are not a standalone system like many legacy HF systems. Our hardware and software interfaces support easy integration into other battle management systems, messaging and chat systems.

Our standard interfaces include:

  • UDP/IP
  • SMTP and IMAP interfaces for external email client and server
  • XMPP interface for external XMPP client and server (makes integration into NATO’s JChat possible, for example)

Read more: Introducing the only XMPP-enabled radio in the World

4. Wideband HF communications for various media formats

Voice, email with attachments, instant messaging, file transfer, C2 data transfer, Blue Force Tracking – the demands for data transfer encompass a wide range of formats. Despite advancements, many contemporary Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) systems often exhibit sluggish performance in establishing dependable channels, making them suboptimal for digital applications over HF. KNL’s radios not only ensure Wideband HF communications up to 300 kbits/s, but the paramount feature lies in our devices’ capability to swiftly and consistently transmit diverse types of media in congested, contested and constrained electromagnetic environments, which is more crucial than achieving the maximum data transfer speed in optimal conditions.

Read more: HF technology basics and legacy use

5. Cognitive Networking HF waveform with faster link establishment also in congested and jammed environments

Automatic link establishment on KNL radios is much faster than with 3G/4G ALEs (down to 500 ms). KNL’s products also provide asynchronous link establishment and communication, essential in GPS-denied environments. Our cognitive network systems are GNSS-independent. Due to built-in ECCM (electronic counter-countermeasures), we offer automatic, cognitive spectrum use even in congested and jammed environments. All voice and data communications are encrypted, as well as addresses, headers and signalling messages. No transmission leaves the antenna without encryption.

Read more: Cognitive Radios: Pioneering Intelligent Communication Systems

6. Fully automated operations without the need for trained radio operators

In large-scale warfare, the requirements for product usability are particularly high. KNL’s products are designed to be easy to use, even for those without expertise in radio technology. All the necessary intelligence is automated within the radio features, making them simple to learn and operate.

Read more: Why KNL’s radios are the ultimate choice?

How does KNL’s technological innovation impact the end-user experience?

KNL’s radios provide advanced and seamless communications capabilities. While legacy HF radios were designed for long-range point-to-point communications, KNL’s radios can also be integrated into other networks.

When there is such a seamless interoperability with C5ISTAR systems and other networks, the overall performance of the defence forces improves.

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Aiming for even more advanced communications systems

In the same way that defence communication systems require constant adaptation, KNL’s products evolve alongside their users. The foundations of KNL radio technology stem from years of meticulous development work. Further advancements and features emerge as we explore new user scenarios with our customers. Software-defined radios enable continuous capability development.

Are there any stakeholders in your network who could benefit from KNL’s innovative communication systems? Our experts are ready to provide more information about the capabilities of our products in the field; contact us for more details.

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