[Satellite TODAY 05-30-12] Cambridge Consultants and Iridium Communications have successfully completed initial trials of key new components of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Distributed Tactical Communications System (DTCS), a major push-to-talk (PTT) radio system. Iridium confirmed the successful trials May 29.
DTCS enables soldiers in isolated areas to communicate without the need for ground infrastructure — and in locations where they often can’t pick up a geostationary satellite’s signal unless they move to higher ground.
The “netted” group call communication system — involving listeners in designated user “nets” — provides over-the-horizon, beyond line-of-sight tactical networks. Soldiers in remote combat zones or disaster areas are able to use lightweight handheld PTT radios to exchange mission-critical data with command centers across the globe, at the touch of a button.