TrellisWare Develops 200 Mbps Full Duplex Radio for the US Army

TrellisWare Technologies announced the successful completion of the Military Full-Duplex Radio (MFDR) program that developed a spectrally efficient high-data-rate communication system for civilian and military use. With this capability, we are now able to transmit and receive data on the same frequency at the same time. This is driving the need for much higher efficiency radios that use less bandwidth.

Under the $15.7M contract awarded by the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) in 2017, TrellisWare led a multi-vendor team to design a Same Frequency Simultaneous Transmit and Receive (SF-STAR) prototype radio that significantly reduces the amount of spectrum required to deploy civilian and military high-data-rate communications. With the rapid expansion of commercial wireless services, there is increased pressure for the Department of Defense (DoD) to vacate or share spectrum currently reserved for tactical radio systems.

The SF-STAR radio was developed to Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL-6) and supports simultaneous transmit and receive functionality on the same frequency from ultra-high frequency (UHF) to S-band, with receive sensitivity comparable or better than half-duplex systems. SF-STAR technology enables a radio system to simultaneously transmit and receive data on the same frequency at the same time instead of utilizing traditional Time Division Duplex (TDD) or Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) methods. SF-STAR technology has the promise of delivering a higher data rate in the same spectrum bandwidth, or the same data rate in smaller spectrum bandwidth. This is an extremely challenging design problem because the transmitter’s high power traditionally leaks into the receiver and makes simultaneous transmit and receive on the same frequency impossible.

TrellisWare leveraged advanced Interference Cancellation (IC) technologies developed over the past twenty years to cancel that leakage and enable a viable SF-STAR system. TrellisWare developed the SF-STAR radio and inline cancellation module which demonstrates two times the spectral efficiency compared to other FDD systems and delivers 200 Mbps of full-duplex data rate on a single 20MHz channel. This represents a spectral efficiency of 10 bits/Hz/sec.

TrellisWare was able to demonstrate this technology works and the efficacy of this technology in the commercial and military domain. Having this capability fills a significant technology gap for efficient spectral occupancy and management.

TrellisWare’s advanced IC technology enables a transmit power of 50 watts while receiving a distant weak signal that is 130 dB lower than the transmitted signal. This demonstrates TrellisWare’s expertise in IC technology that can be applied in many different interference mitigation applications. This high power, high dynamic range design has great potential for tactical radio relay systems and commercial base station applications. TrellisWare plans to continue making improvements to the SF-STAR technology to support even higher spectral efficiencies.