To allow radio operators in the Army to test the functionality of Very High Frequency man-packed radios before moving out for field operations, DSTA developed a tester that can identify faulty antennae. The handheld Radio Frequency (RF) Tester, which allows such checks to be conducted conveniently and accurately, was delivered in March 2013.

Previously, radio operators could only carry out such tests by speaking into the radio set and checking if its antenna could receive transmissions. These pre-operation checks, however, did not detect failures accurately when they were conducted within walking distances. At such short distances, radios still received transmissions even when they were operating at minimum power. However, conducting such tests over long distances would incur too much time and effort to return the faulty equipment.

The DSTA team designed a simple solution to allow the ease of use by radio operators. Built around an industrial RF field strength meter and captured in a portable lightweight design, the RF Tester does not require prior training of the radio operators. As radio operators can now perform pre-operation checks themselves, substantial savings in manpower resources are achieved.

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