DARPA has begun development of a wireless communications link that is capable of 100 gigabits per second over a range of 200 kilometers (124mi), reports Extreme Tech. Officially dubbed “100 Gb/s RF Backbone” (or 100G for short), the program will provide the US military with networks that are around 500 times faster than its current wireless links.
“A major challenge to providing 100 Gb/s from an airborne asset to the ground is cloud cover. Free-space optical links won’t propagate through the cloud layer, which means RF is the only option”, says Darpa
The Common Data Link (CDL) is a secure wireless protocol that networks together UAVs, aircraft carriers, helicopters, forward operating bases. How exactly, DARPA plans to squeeze out 100 Gbps on a 100 mile link (without lasers) is not clear. Currently the US military’s existing CDL links max out at around 250Mbps.
The EHF band at 60-80 GHz can routinely deliver more than 1 Gbps today. There is 12.9 gigahertz of spectrum allocated for commercial use in the 71-95 GHz bands.
Wireless gear capable of over 1 Gbps is available from Alcatel, Alvarion, Bridgewave, Ceragon, Cisco, DragonWave, Exalt, LightPointe, Gigabeam, Proxim’s GigaLink, Trango, and Ubiquiti AirFiber among others.
Presumably it will use the 70-80 GHz band, lots of MIMO and several Gigs of bandwidth.
The 802.11ad standard uses 60 GHz and has some 2 GHz of usable bandwidth. Mark Gradzinsky of Wilocity, a proponent of the 802.11ad standard, told me today that there was lots of room for speed improvements with MIMO and other techniques that could likely take it beyond 10 Gbps.
Using 16×16 MIMO-OFDM on a 20 MHz channel delivers 1 Gbps. If you multiply the bandwidth by 100 (2 GHz), you might get 100 Mbps on the 70 GHz band. Easy.
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