Military Embedded Systems

SDRs using multinode network under development by Collins Aerospace for U.S. Air Force

News

May 18, 2021

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Collins Aerospace SPARTAN radio (Collins Aerospace photo).

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. Collins Aerospace (a unit of Raytheon Technologies) has been tasked by the U.S. Air Force with developing two software-defined radios (SDRs) that will connect and transmit airborne and ground radio data for the first time using a multinode network. The contracts are worth up to $21 million for the company.

According to a statement from Collins Aerospace, its new SDRs -- dubbed Software Programmable Agile Radio for Tactical Connected Ubiquitous Systems (SPARTACUS) and Software Programmable Agile Radio Frequency [RF] Tactical Aerial Network (SPARTAN) – will leverage an open systems architecture to enable the Air Force to develop and implement mission-specific waveforms to keep pace with evolving threats.

The Collins Aerospace ground radio for the SPARTACUS program, the company says, is aimed at connecting ground links to air links in an aircraft that will support legacy and future waveforms, plus the ability to integrate additional 3rd-party waveforms. For its part, the SPARTAN radio will be capable of operating multiple waveforms simultaneously to maintain critical connectivity. 

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