The Basics of HF Data Networks

High Frequency, radio-based, intercontinental ultra-low latency data network. The 101.

Wireless beats fiber

The quest for faster networks is aiming for the ultimate speed of light. 

We’re getting close.

Light travels 50% faster through air than through glass – like in a fiber optic cable.

Radio frequency travels through air at the same speed of light through air.

This physical phenomenon grants a wireless radio-based network with a potential advantage over fiber of 1ms per every 1000Km of travel.

Microwave beats fiber over land (seen the hummingbird project?). 

Microwave network operates only on land, as a clear line of site is required between antennas placed every 50km or so. It is simply not practical to stretch MW links over long distances.

Long distance wireless

Raft harnesses radio frequency Skywaves to transmit data signals across long distances, on land or over sea.

Skywaves, a known phenomenon of HF or High Frequency radio, are propagated back from the atmosphere which acts as a mirror, hence can travel long – intercontinental distances. 

On top of the difference in light speed (through air vs in fiber), a Skywave based signal’s travel distance is also shorter compared with other alternatives, even when the signal may “hop” between earth and the ionosphere (50-200Km in altitude) every 3000Km or so. This additional speed advantage is product of the signal traveling the shortest path between any two points – on the geodesic line (of a circle – the globe), something a fiber link can’t do.

It is possible to send signals between say, NY and Tokyo (10,800Km apart), using only two large HF antennas. The bandwidth is small – only a several bits – but it will arrive with the lowest latency ever.

It’s a big deal

Transmitting data at the fastest speed possible requires careful optimization of every component of the system, including site selection, the ant. (antenna), modem, amplifier, error correction algorithms, as well as clever link management making it most useful, available, and stable. 

This is the challenge we face. 

It’s why we are here, at Raft.

Pushing the limits, devising ways to be a bit faster, the fastest.

What can you expect from such unique low latency data network that is faster than your current alternative?

Well, it is different in quite a few ways.

But hey, unlike MW, HF is weather independent.

We’re happy to discuss further. 
Thanks for your attention,
The team at Raft.