UC San Diego Researchers Succeed in Rapid Port of FM3TR Waveform to Spectrum's Multi-Purpose Radio Under JPEO JTRS Support
Spectrum Signal Processing by Vecima, an advanced custom radio provider, announced that the Future Multiband Multiwaveform Modular Tactical Radio (FM3TR) waveform has been successfully ported to Spectrum's flexComm SDR-4000 software reconfigurable transceiver. Researchers at the University of California San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) conducted the successful work under support from the U.S. Joint Program Executive Office for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS) program. Calit2 researchers completed the port in just four months after receiving the SDR-4000 equipment. This waveform can now be readily employed by all of Spectrum's SDR-4000 users.
"The FM3TR project with Calit2 demonstrates that with software defined radio (SDR) technology, a Software Communications Architecture (SCA)-enabled waveform can be rapidly ported to an industry commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) system, such as Spectrum's SDR-4000," said Dr. Richard North, Technical Director for JPEO JTRS. "The JPEO JTRS is proud to support the adoption of SDR technologies through programs like the JTRS Open Information Repository (IR)."
The JTRS Open IR contains material donated by the JTRS JPEO as a courtesy to the open-source SDR development community. The plan is that the IR will continue to grow over time with additional contributions not only from JPEO JTRS and Calit2, but the user community as well. The JTRS FM3TR waveform code and documentation is available in the JTRS Open IR, accessible at http://jtrs.calit2.net.
"Spectrum offered a comprehensive solution that enabled us to begin our development immediately, while remaining on schedule and on budget for the completion of the FM3TR port," said Bill Hodgkiss, Principal Investigator on the Calit2/JTRS SDR Project. He added, "The Spectrum solution tightly integrated the hardware, software - including a complete SCA Core Framework, a hardware abstraction layer and application protocol interface (API) library, and all the necessary development tools." Hodgkiss is also associate director of the UC San Diego division of Calit2. The Calit2 team successfully demonstrated and presented the FM3TR port at the joint meeting of JTRS Science and Technology Forum and the SDR Forum 61st General Working Meeting, held earlier this year in San Diego at Calit2.
"Our work with the JPEO JTRS during the past year has been, and is, a unique opportunity for a university to get an insight into the technology challenges facing the defense industry in the communications area," noted Per Johansson, a Calit2 Principal Engineer and the Project Manager of the Calit2/JTRS Project. "It has been a chance for us to work in a real commercial environment with equipment and tools. The close collaboration we have with JTRS JPEO has been key for us to be able to get up to speed in such a relatively short time."
Johansson summed up, "It's been a great learning experience for us. With this port, we became familiar with this environment, and knowing what we know now, we can take the next step and start looking at something where we design it from the start." Next, the team will build a Software Communications Architecture (SCA)-enabled version of the APCO Project 25 (P25) public safety waveform, again using the SDR-4000; follow-on support from JPEO JTRS began recently.
"A healthy open-source SDR development community is essential to reduce the costs of fielding these powerful radio technologies. FM3TR is a waveform we believe will be useful not just to Spectrum's SDR-4000 customers, but to the entire community of developers," said Mark Briggs, VP Marketing at Spectrum. "This program at Calit2 is an excellent example of effective government, academic and industry partnership, producing meaningful results for the good of the community."