5 May 2015

Thales Systeme 3000 robust MFSK-8

This is a Thales proprietary waveform is used in the TRC-3500/TRC-3600 and TRC-3700 series radios. The 'robust' mode uses the same tone library as 141A/B 2G ALE but callsigns are limited to a maximum length of 2 figures only. In addition to these ALE-functions facility, the transceivers can also use this waveform as a robust-data mode in order to transmit messages with 375 bps raw and 100 bps net datarate, although I have measured a bit rate of 125Bd.

I just heard this signal on 16256.5 KHz and 18755.5 USB, possibly from French Military.

Aurally and visually, it's looks like a standard MIL 188-141A signal and then it is easily mistaken for a normal ALE, but putting an ALE decoder on it the decoder itself just sits down without printing the expected commands and messages. As said, its parameters are the same of MIL 188-141A, i.e. 8 tones, 250 Hz spaced manipulated at 125 baud (see above for the datarate misure).

We will probably not find a fixed schedule, as these are tactical networks that come and go - often related to exercise traffic.

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