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BOX 3-1

Handie-Talkies Serve Both Military and Commercial Needs

In 1940 Motorola developed the first handheld two-way radio, the Handie-Talkie, a 2.3-kg AM unit with a range of 1.6 to 4.8 km. Within three weeks of U.S. entry into World War II, Handie-Talkie production exceeded 50 units a day; by 1945 more than 130,000 units had been built. In 1942 Motorola's design for the world's first portable FM two-way radio, the SCR-300 backpack unit, won a competition to replace an older Army Signal Corps radio, the "walkie-talkie." The SCR-300 weighed almost 16 kg, had an average range of 16 to 32 km, and could be tuned to various frequencies in the 40–48 MHz band. Motorola police radios were used in the Army's first radio relay system for behind-the-lines communications and its first radio teletype hookup. After the war, Motorola introduced the first commercially available portable radiophones, the Handie-Talkie radio line. A fully transistorized, VHF pocket transmitter version was developed in 1960. A fully transistorized, portable two-way radio was developed in 1962; its weight of approximately 1 kg was reduced by almost half in 1969. These devices have evolved into Motorola's current line of cellular telephones. Component technologies from commercial communications equipment are now designed into future generations of military equipment, thus furthering the ongoing cycle of commercial-defense synergy.

commercial-defense synergy in the development of wireless technology. Section 3.3 outlines the barriers to synergy posed by mismatches between commercial capabilities and military needs and operating requirements. Section 3.4 examines three broad issues that need to be addressed in the design of future wireless systems for defense applications. Section 3.5 reviews the relevant defense technology policy issues.

3.1 Overview

Myriad wireless technologies have originated within the government. Satellite programs initiated by the federal government in the early 1960s produced technologies that were quickly adopted for commercial use, starting with INTELSAT in 1965 in the United States and other countries in the 1970s. Another important government-initiated technology was packet switching, developed by DAPRA (then known as ARPA) in the late 1960s. This advance led to commercial and military packet-switched systems worldwide as well as to the Internet. The government also led the work on advanced coding techniques (for recovering data from deep-space probes), spread-spectrum techniques, signal and data encryption, and more recently on-board digital processing. All of these technologies have been adopted by commercial enterprises.1

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