Product Application Design Solutions

July 1, 2001
Enabling technologies for military & aerospace electronics engineers

Enabling technologies for military & aerospace electronics engineers

Canadian software radio developers choose Spectrum Signal's flexComm technology
Canadian researchers needed special communications software to help them develop a software-defined radio architecture that enables users to plug in different waveforms and switch between air interfaces, as well as integrate with different wireless systems. The flexComm software from Spectrum Signal Processing in Burnaby, British Columbia, met their needs.

Sponsoring this project are the Communications Research Canada (CRC) and the Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) in Ottawa. Experts from the two organizations are developing a software radio for military organizations throughout the world.

Spectrum's flexComm technology enables systems designers to enhance and interoperate through software downloads without altering or buying new radio hardware, Spectrum officials say. This enables users easily to reconfigure generic hardware and tailor its capabilities to their needs, Spectrum officials say.

"We believe that the software-defined radios are the technology of the future and will replace existing legacy radios in the battlefield," says Robin Addison, leader of the CRC/DRDC Reconfigurable Omni-Band Radio project. "

"The advantages of a single, reconfigurable platform supporting multiple waveforms for both terrestrial and satellite communications cannot be overstated," Addison says.

The Reconfigurable Omni-Band Radio project is the first Java implementation that complies with the Software Communications Architecture from the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) specification from the U.S. Department of Defense, Spectrum officials say.

Java is a programming language that generations applications able to run on many different computer architectures without modification. The goal of JTRS is to evolve old radios to systems compliant with the JTRS open-systems architecture. — J.K.

For more information contact Spectrum Signal Processing by phone at 604-421-5422, by fax at 604-421-1764, by post at One Spectrum Court, #200-2700 Production Way, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, V54 4X1, or on the World Wide Web at

Integrated circuits
Navy chooses KOR Electronics for RF memory modulators
U.S. Navy electronic warfare experts needed miniaturized I/J band RF memory modulators for the AN/ULQ-21 electronic counter measures (ECM) set. The digital RF memory — otherwise known as DRFM — from KOR Electronics Inc. in Garden Grove, Calif., met their needs.

Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Point Mugu, Calif., awarded KOR a $21.7 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract March 7 for as many as 101 miniaturized I/J band DRFM modulators for the AN/ULQ-21 ECM.

The AN/ULQ-21 set provides realistic simulation of present and projected electronic countermeasures threats for the purpose of evaluating ECM capabilities of weapon systems, training weapons system operators, and during developmental testing of new weapon systems, Navy officials say.

Applications that use DRFMs come in three major categories — electronic attack, simulation, and generic time delay, KOR officials say.

In electronic attack DRFMs act as counter-measure devices against active radar systems. Simulation denotes applications where a DRFM creates radar reflections to active sensors. In time delay applications the DRFM simulates range delays between any signal source and its intended receiver. — J.K.

For more information contact KOR by phone at 714-898-8200, by fax at 714-895-7526, by post at 11958 Monarch St., Garden Grove, Calif. 92841, or on the World Wide Web at

Army chooses Evans & Sutherland image generator for Kiowa helicopter simulator
U.S. Army simulation experts needed image generators for their OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter simulator. The simFUSION device from Evans & Sutherland in Salt Lake City met their needs.

Experts at the Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI) at Fort Rucker, Ala., are using the OH-58D simulator to evaluate PC-based image generation technologies for low-cost flight simulators, Evans & Sutherland officials say.

ARI's OH-58D simulator has a training cockpit, three out-the-window channels, and one more channel for sensor imaging. The system is networked with other simulators for large-scale training exercises. It uses software from Carmel Applied Technology Inc. (CATI) in Carmel, Calif.

"We selected simFUSION because it provides advanced features at a comparatively low cost," says William Howse, research psychologist at ARI's Rotary Wing Aviation Research Unit (RWARU). "Selectable screen resolution, up to 1280 by 1024 pixels, is useful in evaluating tradeoffs between field of view and resolution." — J.K.

For more information contact Evans & Sutherland by phone at 801-588-1000, by fax at 801-588-4500, by post at 600 Komas Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, or on the World Wide Web at

Computer peripherals
Radstone chooses Adtron solid-state drive for rugged vehicle-mount memory system
Digital memory subsystems designers at Radstone Technology in Towcester, England, needed a SCSI solid-state disk drive for their Rugged Memory Card Drive — better known as the RMCD. The SSDS Dual PC Card SCSI Bus Drive from Adtron Corp. in Phoenix met their needs.

"Radstone's selection of a third-party drive focused on two key aspects, quality and ease of use," explains Colin Davies, product manager at Radstone. "The Adtron drive stood head and shoulders above the pack, well made and well supported.

"In practice, the drive ran straight out of the box with tie wide variety of COTS operating systems used on Radstone's hardware, Davies continues. "The net result was that the integration of application-specific drivers became a low-risk development."

The RMCD is an environmentally sealed drive supporting as many as two PC Card or PCMCIA V2.1 slots. It can accept several different kinds of removable media and enables designers to use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) PC Card technology in military vehicles, Adtron officials say. — J.K.

For more information contact Adtron President Alan Fitzgerald by phone at 602-735-0300, by fax at 602-735-0359, by e-mail at info@adtron .com, by post at 3710 University Drive, Suite #5, Phoenix, Ariz. 85034, or on the World Wide Web at http://

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