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Digital Battlespace

Collins develops mission-specific waveforms for USAF

18th May 2021 - 14:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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SPARTAN radio. (Photo: Collins Aerospace)

Two new software-defined radios blend COTS technology with military hardware to expand network nodes and extend the effective range that data can travel.

Collins Aerospace is producing two software-defined radios (SDRs) for the USAF that will connect and transmit airborne and ground radio data via a multi-node network for the first time.

The open-architecture SDRs — developed in the Software Programmable Agile Radio for Tactical Connected Ubiquitous Systems (SPARTACUS) and Software Programmable Agile RF Tactical Aerial Network (SPARTAN) programmes — will expedite data transmission and extend data range, the Raytheon Technologies company claimed on 18 May.

Collins is developing the radios under two separate USAF contracts worth a combined $21 million.

The low-cost ground-to-air radio for SPARTACUS ‘can support legacy and future waveforms, and can also integrate additional 3rd party waveforms’, the company noted, adding that the SPARTAN radio is capable of operating multiple waveforms simultaneously to maintain critical connectivity.

Both radios share common design elements supporting various waveform capabilities ‘including multi-node directional data links and beyond-line-of-sight SATCOM links,’ Collins added.

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