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By Scott Gourley

Representatives for Raytheon used the AUSA gathering to spotlight that company’s recent activities surrounding “MicroLight,” which they characterize as “THE optimal software-defined UHF networking radio.”

“Our goal, out in Fullerton at our Datalink program, is to ‘Network Individuals’,” said Tim Strobel, Technical Director, Raytheon Datalink Programs. In particular, two [markets] that we see as unmet markets: dismounted infantrymen and netted sensors. And that’s where we’re trying to go with MicroLight.”

Developed to support the Army’s “Land Warrior” program, the radio comes in two configurations: secure but unclassified; and Type I encryption. The secure but unclassified configuration measures 6.9 inches x 3.2 inches x 1.6 inches and weighs 17.2 ounces. Type I encryption adds four additional ounces. The system is powered off the Land Warrior battery.

According to Strobel, the software-defined MicroLight hosts the EPLRS high capacity data waveform. He added that in the large radios that waveform goes up to a half a megabit [data rate but has been upgraded in MicroLight to one megabit. Additional waveforms are currently being integrated under company funding.

Demonstrations of MicroLight started in April 2004 with the Department of the Army submitting a JTRS waiver request to the Office of Secretary of Defense for 5986 radios the same month.

As of this writing, that waiver request awaits action.

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