Army asks industry for ideas on developing open-systems integrated digital radio and EW

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., 31 March 2016. U.S. Army researchers are reaching out to industry for new ways to build combination digital radio, surveillance, and electronic warfare (EW) systems that are compact enough for Army aircraft and ground vehicles.

Mar 31st, 2016
Army asks industry for ideas on developing open-systems integrated digital radio and EW
Army asks industry for ideas on developing open-systems integrated digital radio and EW
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., 31 March 2016. U.S. Army researchers are reaching out to industry for new ways to build combination digital radio, surveillance, and electronic warfare (EW) systems that are compact enough for Army aircraft and ground vehicles.

These systems must be small size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP), and make maximum use of open-systems standards like OpenVPX for embedded computing, VICTORY for on-board networking, the Modular Open RF Architecture (MORA) for RF and microwave systems, and REDHAWK interfaces for software interoperability.

Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., issued a sources-sought notice this week (W56KGU16RA311) for the Modular Open Radio Frequency Architecture (MORA) project.

The solicitation is asking companies to submit white papers on new ways to design a SWaP-optimized converged EW and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) architecture that rely on OpenVPX, VICTORY, MORA, and REDHAWK for Army platforms.

Related: Open-systems standards for RF and microwave taking shape in military embedded computing industry

OpenVPX defines computer module form factors and a standard high-speed switch fabric for high-speed embedded computing systems. VICTORY -- short for Vehicle Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability -- defines standard interconnects for future networked armored combat vehicles.

MORA, meanwhile, comes from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, and seeks to create standard RF and microwave systems modules like the embedded computing industry has standardized on circuit card form factors, electronic interconnects, backplane connectors, and electronic chassis.

The MORA effort recognizes the embedded computing industry's OpenVPX standards initiative as a potential model for creating open-systems RF and microwave systems standards.

REDHAWK is a software package that supports the design, development, deployment, management, upgrade, and recycling of real-time network-enabled software-defined radios (SDR).

Related: Army seeks to enhance wide-area-networking vetronics in its fleets of armored combat vehicles

This project involves the Army CERDEC's Hardware/Software Convergence Working-Level Integrated Product Team, which is planning a modular open family of hardware and software for interoperable C4ISR/EW capabilities on Army platforms.

The Army's primary goal is to get industry feedback on the draft MORA V2.0 specification in support of hardware and software convergence and other initiatives.

The Army's top-level interest involves software-defined radio; RF condition and distribution; radiohead integrations of antennas and RF conditioning circuits; MORA signal port interfaces; VITA 49.2 for digital RF distribution; off-the-shelf software for RF signal processing; MORA processing port interfaces; software development frameworks and operating environments; use of REDHAWK with hardware acceleration such as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and digital signal processors (DSPs); use of 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet for low-latency messaging; and comments on CERDEC's converged architecture of OpenVPX, MORA, VICTORY, and REDHAWK.

Related: 6U OpenVPX rugged embedded computing multiprocessor for radar and sonar introduced by Abaco

Companies interested should email 15-page white papers to the Army no later than 28 April at usarmy.apg.rdecom-cerdec.mbx.i2wd-mora-specs-rfi@mail.mil.

Request a copy of the MORA V2.0 draft specification online at https://portal.victory-standards.org/.

Email questions or concerns to the Army's Oladayo Kaka at Oladayo.a.kaka.civ@mail.mil. More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/notices/7e12753373c08ab1f152af38433cd7e7.

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