US company goTenna (Stand N5-197) is displaying its latest mesh-networking tactical radio, ahead of planned deliveries to end users in the fourth quarter of 2017. The third product released by the company, the goTenna Pro has been adopted by special operations forces (SOF) units, and works in conjunction with a complementary application that can be used on smartphones, or with a number of other applications built onto the radio’s open software development kit. This allows users to send and receive situational awareness data over large distances and different terrains without requiring a central control unit, and the smartphone integration means that training is minimal.
“Before the goTenna Pro, this kind of high-performance mesh-capable radio system would cost tens of thousands of dollars per unit and be extremely bulky − representing an insurmountable barrier to acquisition for almost all except the most wellfunded military operators,’’ the company said.
‘‘With goTenna Pro, however, this paradigm has fundamentally shifted, and for the first time, the most powerful type of off-grid tactical communications can be had for only $499 per unit.’’
It added that the radio is 40 times cheaper, 12 times smaller, 10 times lighter and 30 times more energy efficient than comparable mesh networking tactical radio systems.
Compared with the company’s other products, the ruggedised goTenna Pro software-defined and tunable VHF/UHF radio has upgraded 5W variable output power, and operates at 142-175MHz and 445-480MHz. It has increased sensitivity, an SMA antenna connector for easy operation with legacy antennas, and a battery life of some 60 hours.
In addition to SOF personnel, the radio is also well suited for use by fire and police units, as well as conventional military forces.