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DAMA Tactical Radio Protocol

The GateHouse DAMA Radio Protocol Stack is an easy way to get a data and voice tactical radio system developed.

The GateHouse Demand Assigned Multiple Access (DAMA) Protocol Stack is a Data-Link Layer (LLC/MAC) protocol for small tactical satellite radio systems supporting data and voice services. Typical use cases are closed tactical UHF, L-Band, or S-Band radio networks with a limited number of nodes supporting voice and data services such as command/response, chat, or limited file transfer.

A single node serves as the Primary Channel Controller (PCC) and manages the assignment of bandwidth on demand to terminals in the channels. Other terminals act as clients and request access to bandwidth as needed. Data transmissions are directly from terminal to terminal (via satellite), with no need for a separate ground-station downlink carrier, and low latency end-to-end links.

The protocol supports a network of typically 16-32 terminals, depending on the carrier bandwidth and the amount of traffic generated per terminals. However, the protocol can be adapted for use in larger systems, including multi-channel systems.


  • Connection-oriented message-based transmission
  • Constant-bit-rate connection (e.g. for voice)
  • Segmentation & retransmission
  • Buffering
  • Channel assigned upon demand
  • Return link timing synchronization (path delay compensation)
  • CRC-based error detection

Implementation properties

  • C++ Code Base (Embeddable)
  • Small footprint
  • Low resource requirements (CPU & RAM)
  • Fully unit-tested
  • PC-based network simulation (full network)

Based on concepts of MIL-STD-188-182, the GateHouse stack is a tailored solution for tactical radio systems that can be used in a wide range of similar systems and is open for adaptation to specific system requirements.

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