Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio, often referred to by its acronym RaDAR, is a concept for operating an amateur radio station anywhere, anytime and even in adverse environmental conditions. This concept supports the amateur radio service’s emergency communications mandate.

Where the concept originated

Radio amateurs from South Africa came up with a concept to build a comfortable portable radio station capable of operating for extended periods while walking or stationary after walking to a specified site.

The idea was discussed in an open forum and ideas gleaned from many of the local hams, some prototyping was done and the “Shack in a Sack” (SiaS) concept was born.

In August 2009 RaDAR – Rapid Deployment Amateur Radio, was launched – a more professional version of the SiaS concept.

Natural evolution

Rapid deployment of an amateur radio stations was the goal of RaDAR. Initially it was a requirement to walk at least one kilometer carrying all station equipment, antennas and logistics to the operating position. This was no different to any other similar outdoor amateur radio activity.

The need to be different

There was no time limit set for an initial deployment so the essence of deploying quickly was not quite there, it was simply too easy.

Some experiments were done and RaDAR once again evolved into a more refined idea by having to move station for a required distance depending on the mode of transport after every five contacts. No other amateur radio activity in the world works this way. RaDAR is different.

(Source last accessed 28 March 2023, Since Jan 2024 now a CW club and RaDAR has been dropped from the site)