ALLISS is a somewhat rotatable antenna system for high power shortwave radio broadcasting in the 6 MHz to 26 MHz range. An ALLISS module is a self-contained shortwave relay station that is used for international broadcasting.
ALLISS is a special design case of HRS type antennas. True ALLISS systems have solid radiators (horizontal radiating elements) versus tensioned flexible (open) radiators found with all other variations of ITU HRS type antennas systems. The name is based on a concatenation of two French towns ALLouis and ISSoudun.
There are some factors that separate true ALLISS technology from 'run-of-the-mill' rotatable HRS Type antennas. Thales pseudo-ALLISS rotatable antenna designs were procured from other antenna manufacturers that Thales acquired by corporate transactions. Technically only solid radiators distinguish true ALLISS systems from all other rotatable HRS type antennas. Only about 12% (estimate) of all HRS antennas in use globally are rotatable, and of these only 28 of the ALLISS systems have solid radiators. One must assume that only about 10% of HRS type antennas are rotatable, but compiled statistics are fragmentary. Only about 20% of rotatable HRS antennas are ALLISS, but this may be a slight overestimate. The Transmitter Documentation Project has most but not all stats on shortwave relay station antennas in use or historical. The Chinese SARFT is said to contain replicated ALLISS module technology, so to consider ALLISS technology as being exclusively in the domain of Thales is no longer true.
ALLISS technology, due to its cost and complexity—is out of reach to most consumers as a consumer product. Cheaper solutions to ALLISS exist in the shortwave broadcasting technology area. As a rule of thumb ALLISS systems should only be purchased if 360 degrees of coverage is necessary. ALLISS is only used by well funded broadcasting and telecommunications operations that intend to use the modules over their design lifespan of 50–60 years.
ALLISS allows a broadcaster to change the following shortwave transmission parameters at any time: direction (azimuths from 0 to 360 degrees, rate: ~1 deg / 6 sec), broadcast frequency, and antenna configuration (i.e.: HR 4/4/1 -> HR 6/4/1). All of these transmission mode changes can take effect in as little as 5 minutes. This flexibility can allow a broadcaster to redirect the entire shortwave transmission network to a strategically important target area in as little as 15 minutes.
Modular construction: ALLISS relay stations can be built on a module by module basis. An ALLISS module can start broadcasting as soon as construction is completed.
Higher RFI & EMF (electromagnetic) compatibility vs traditional relay stations
Each ALLISS module is fully automated, so there is no need for technical staff. When there are 2-5 ALLISS modules scattered over several hundred square kilometers, a three-person support staff is enough to keep the modules in operation year round (provided these modules are visited monthly for repair and maintenance).
With conventionally designed HRS type antennas shortwave relay stations and their obligatory transmitter hall, switch matrix, coaxial or open feeder line systems and multiple antennas (~90% of shortwave relay stations are built this way) much larger staffs are required.
Around US$10 million.
According to the current Thales brochure on ALLISS, there are 6 different versions of the ALLISS system. These versions are sorted by date of initial installation.
Typically ALLISS modules possess a 500 kW polyphase shortwave transmitter.
For tropical and lower frequency shortwave broadcasting
For traditional shortwave broadcasting
For highly directional shortwave broadcasting
The HRS 6/4/1 is not available for use in the 26 MHz band.
One Low Band antenna exists for Tropical Band broadcasting. It takes up the entire back side of the ALLISS module. This Low Band antenna counterbalances the primary transmission antennas used in traditional shortwave broadcasting.
Documentation format — Nation : Broadcaster : City (Modules, Date Sold)
Total number of modules sold since 1989: 32
Volga ALLISS Module
Ganges ALLISS Module
Former RFI Issoudun Relay station feeders and curtain arrays
Former RFI Issoudun Relay curtain arrays
The International broadcasting center of TDF (Télédiffusion de France) is at Issoudun/Ste Aoustrille. Issoudun is currently utilized by TDF for shortwave transmissions. The site uses 12 rotary ALLISS antennas fed by 12 transmitters of 500 kW each to transmit shortwave broadcasts by Radio France International (RFI), along with other broadcast services.
Applicable related technologies
Broadcasters using ALLISS modules
Technology portals (non-Thales)