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Research bulletin on In-Band Full-Duplex Radio Military Applications

Puolustusvoimien tutkimuslaitos
Julkaisuajankohta 1.2.2024 10.39

This research bulletin looks into what an IBFD-radio is and how it brings new and even revolutionary capabilities to both radio communications and electronic warfare.

This article explains what IBFD radio is and why both military communications and, at the latest, the next generation of mobile networks, i.e., 6G, are adopting this technology. In both military and civilian radio systems, IBFD radio will provide significant new performance. This easy-to-follow article discusses the basics of IBFD technology, its development path and, in particular, the new military performance that can be achieved.

More Efficient Spectrum Use

IBFD radio has the potential to double spectrum efficiency in military and civilian radio networks and, as the technology becomes more widely deployed, especially in future 6G networks. This doubling of spectrum efficiency is significant. However, as data transmission becomes increasingly wireless, there will inevitably be a shift from static spectrum sharing to dynamic spectrum management between civilian and military radio systems. The demand for spectrum for 5G and future 6G networks is already so high that spectrum previously reserved for military use must be made available, at least partially, for mobile communications when it is not being used for military purposes.

Capabilities Developed for Military Radios

In addition to spectrum efficiency, significant new capability will be gained in electronic warfare. IBFD radio allows the radio transmitter and receiver to work simultaneously. In practice, this enables real-time information on whether a fast follower-jammer has entered on the frequency in use, or whether the frequency in use is otherwise interfered. In this case, extremely fast cognitive spectrum management can replace jammed or otherwise poorly performing frequencies with new ones. In addition, IBFD radio can simultaneously receive information from its own forces and transmit jamming signal to prevent the enemy forces from operating.

Deployment and Benefits of IBFD Radios

IBFD radio can be seen as a new hardware generation of software-defined radios. It can bring new capabilities and performance to the battlefield. Until the technology is integrated into every military radio, it could very likely be applied, for example, as a technique to mitigate interference between different radio networks in military vehicles. Another use case example mentioned earlier could be a stand-alone device that allows a convoy of vehicles to maintain its own radio communications while intelligently jamming enemy roadside bombs or swarms of drones.

The use of IBFD radio technology in electronic warfare could improve the effectiveness of jamming and save resources if, for example, separate long-range jamming was abandoned and jamming was carried out locally in a simultaneous manner with radio transmission. In a high-flying vision, any combat net radio could take part in electronic warfare operations if it had the resources to do so.

Research bulletin 1–2024: In-Band Full-Duplex Radio Military Applications

Additional infomation

Principal scientist M.Sc., Heikki Rantanen and/or senior research scientist M.Sc., Sami Peltotalo.

Previous research bulletins can be found here.