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

BY JOHN KELLER

OTTAWA—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 handheld 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.

Researchers are making progress on designing Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) waveforms that will run on public-safety Android smartphones and tablet computers.
Researchers are making progress on designing Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) waveforms that will run on public-safety Android smartphones and tablet computers.

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.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit CRC at www.crc.gc.ca, OIS at www.ois.com, or APCO at www.apcointl.org.

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July 2015
Volume 26, Issue 7
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