Canadian research could lead to running JTRS-compatible radio waveforms on Android smartphones and tablets

OTTAWA, 1 Dec. 2011. Software-defined radio (SDR) experts at the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) in Ottawa have ported the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS)-compatible P25 emergency public safety radio waveform to an Android hand-held communications device, which may lead the way to running SDR applications on commercial smartphones and rugged tablet computers.

CRC software experts ported a complete P25 waveform and Software Communications Architecture (SCA) radio system to a small Android device in just one day with zero source code modifications using the ORBexpress communications software from Objective Interface Systems, Inc. (OIS) in Herndon, Va., OIS officials say.

The port makes it easier for military radios to communicate with public-safety radios during homeland security and other emergency situations. The Project 25 (P25) waveform from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) in Daytona Beach, Fla., is a complex, public-safety waveform that federal, state, and local public-safety agencies use in North America to communicate with other agencies and mutual aid response teams in emergencies.

The P25 waveform was designed to improve interoperability among civilian public-safety agencies. This port by CRC proves that public-safety radios can adapt to new operating parameters -- the real strength of SDR in a public-safety communications system, OIS officials say.

CRC's port of the entire radio system, including a full core framework and a P25 waveform application, ran seamlessly while achieving long battery life on a dual-core ARM processor. Because ORBexpress is multi-threaded, CRC's radio application and P25 waveform were able to use both cores of the ARM processor without changing the source code.

CRC's port demonstrates the benefits of abstracting the mechanisms for inter- and intra-process communication from the ORBexpress software, OIS officials say. Radio systems developers can use ORBexpress to maintain, modify, and adapt to the P25 Waveform as its standards and requirements evolve.

ORBexpress is a secure real-time implementation of the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) standard, and is available in C++, Ada, Java, and VHDL for FPGA implementations.

For more information contact CRC online at, OIS at, or APCO at

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