Comtech Introduces the World’s Smallest Over-the-Horizon Microwave Troposcatter Terminal

Comtech Introduces the World’s Smallest Over-the-Horizon Microwave Troposcatter Terminal

Comtech Introduces the World’s Smallest Over-the-Horizon Microwave Troposcatter Terminal


Comtech Telecommunications announced that its Florida-based subsidiary, Comtech Systems, has introduced the Comtech COMET, the world’s smallest over-the-horizon (OTH) microwave troposcatter terminal. Comtech Systems is part of Comtech’s Government Solutions segment and has also received an initial contract award for production terminals from ADS, to be used by a US Military end-customer.

COMET, which stands for Compact Over-the-horizon Mobile Expeditionary Terminal, is the world’s first rapidly deployable, low power, airline checkable, OTH microwave troposcatter terminal. Troposcatter technology has long been associated with large antennas and high-power amplifiers that require kilowatts of prime power and large trucks to transport them to the field. The COMET has fundamentally changed this paradigm.

The Comtech COMET is a medium range (up to 60 km), high bandwidth (up to 210Mb/s), communications terminal that fills a void in distances that have long been desired by tactical communications planners. It uniquely addresses the U.S. SOCOM community’s concern of low probability of intercept and low probability of detection (“LPI/LPD”), while providing high reliability, mission essential communications.

According to Fred Kornberg, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Comtech Telecommunications, they are extremely pleased by this first order of the Comtech COMET, for use by U.S. SOCOM and expect significant orders in the future from both U.S. military and international customers. This product introduction, which has been years in the making, is a testament to their engineering prowess and they believe the Comtech COMET will quickly become a much-needed communications tool for today’s warfighter.

Key attributes of the Comtech COMET include:

  • Easily transported in two airline checkable cases. 
  • Rapidly setup by one person in less than 15 minutes. 
  • Operates in the 4.4 to 5.0 GHz. Band. 
  • Extremely low prime power requirements (< 120 Watts) enable operations from a vehicle, battery, or solar with battery backup. 
  • Highly directional Antenna and Low Transmit Power satisfying Low Probability of Intercept (“LPI”) and Low Probability of Detect (“LPD”) requirements. 
  • Operates on the ground with a minimal equipment footprint, unlike Line of Sight (“LOS”) microwave radios which often require a mast or tower. 
  • Offers high data rate communications over obstructed paths due to man-made objects, trees, or terrain; critical when erecting a tower/mast for traditional LOS which may not be feasible due to location, cost, or time. 

The foundation of the Comtech COMET is the CS67PLUS Troposcatter Radio, the first software-defined adaptive troposcatter radio packaged in a compact IP66 sealed module, capable of all-weather operations in harsh climates. The radio is MIL-STD 461 EMI compliant and MIL-STD 810G environmentally compliant. The radio uses diversity combining receivers to detect and recover signals below -100dBm in a Rayleigh fading environment. Other key features include Adaptive Code Modulation (“ACM”) and Automatic Link Power Control (“ALPC”) to further reduce RF signature and enhance throughput. Given that the CS67PLUS is frequency agile between 1.8GHz and 6GHz, the Comtech COMET can be adapted for use in frequency bands within this range.

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