R&S Launches Next-Gen Software Defined Airborne Radio Certified for Military Use

Rohde & Schwarz has expanded its successful R&S M3AR family of airborne radios with the introduction of its software defined airborne radio called R&S SDAR. It offers secure, high data rate communications, flexible deployment and true independence for the customer. In addition, Rohde & Schwarz is the only provider to offer a radio that can be certified for civil and military use.

The R&S SDAR from Rohde & Schwarz takes the latest generation software defined radios (SDR) and network enabled waveforms to the skies. It combines the advantages of a high data rate, IP-based radio with the excellent technical performance that customers have come to expect from the successful R&S M3AR family of airborne radios. More than 7000 R&S M3AR radios from the independent European vendor are in use worldwide on over 70 different airborne platforms.

R&S worked closely with government customers and platform manufacturers during development to harmonize requirements. The first customer contracts for the new R&S SDAR are currently being implemented.

Rohde & Schwarz is the only vendor to meet the civil certification regulations of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Military aircrafts can only be certified and deployed without restrictions, if they meet both military and civil standards. Two radios must usually be carried on board an aircraft to ensure failsafe performance. The R&S SDAR airborne radio can be used in both applications, delivering unprecedented efficiency in terms of logistics, integration, maintenance and training. It also simplifies integration and saves space and weight in the aircraft.

As a state-of-the-art software defined radio, the R&S SDAR supports the porting of waveforms independent of the manufacturer to give customers additional flexibility. The R&S SDAR has been designed as an open platform based on the international Software Communications Architecture (SCA) standard, with a strict separation between the radio’s hardware and software, the waveforms. That makes it possible to port SCA-based waveforms, including those from other manufacturers, as well as legacy waveforms to the radio, providing safety of investment along with backward compatibility with legacy radio systems. It also enables customers to create and modify embedded encryption along with the waveforms. That allows secure communications channels to be set up to provide interoperability between different branches of a country's armed forces and between different nations. National data is protected, and information superiority in joint operations and combined missions can be achieved.

Rohde & Schwarz has created a family of network enabled, high data rate waveforms to handle diverse mission requirements. The waveforms of the R&S HDR family can transmit data and up to two voice channels in parallel, at high speed and with different priorities. Users can select the waveform that best suits a given communications scenario in terms of range, data rate and jamming resistance. In addition, the R&S HDR waveforms integrate highly secure encryption algorithms to protect military communications.

The R&S SDTR vehicular tactical radio and the R&S SDHR handheld tactical radio already incorporate latest generation software defined radio technology and R&S HDR waveforms. The R&S SDAR adds airborne communications capability to ground-based radio networks.

Rohde & Schwarz will showcase the R&S SDAR software defined airborne radio at ILA Berlin from April 25 to 29, 2018. For more information, click here.