Spectrum’s SDR-4000 rugged modem offered with L-3 Nova’s Wideband Networking Waveform OFDM physical layer

L-3 Communications Nova Engineering Inc. (L-3 Nova) ported the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing physical layer (OFDM PHY) to Spectrum Signal Processing’s flexComm SDR-4000 rugged wireless modem.

Apr 1st, 2008
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By John McHale

BURNABY, British Columbia—L-3 Communications Nova Engineering Inc. (L-3 Nova) ported the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing physical layer (OFDM PHY) to Spectrum Signal Processing’s flexComm SDR-4000 rugged wireless modem.

Spectrum in Burnaby, British Columbia, and L-3 Nova in Cincinnati, are partnering to offer WNW system integrators and radio providers a solution available for commercialization and deployment. The commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software-defined radio (SDR) consists of a WNW OFDM PHY operating at as much as 10 megabits throughput implemented on an “IF-to-Ethernet” modem.

WNW is the fast military waveform integrated by Boeing under the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Ground Mobile Radio (GMR) program. L-3 Nova’s WNW PHY is used in several military applications.

“By bundling the WNW PHY layer with Spectrum’s rugged, small form factor, wireless modem, our customers can concentrate on development of their radio feature set, including higher layer ad-hoc networking algorithms and protocols,” says Mark Briggs, vice president of marketing at Spectrum.


Spectrum and L-3 Communications Nova Engineering have partnered to offer Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) system integrators and radio providers a single, integrated that is available for commercialization and deployment.
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“L-3 Nova architected the OFDM waveform in partnership with two government researchers prior to JTRS,” says Mike Geile, chief technical officer at L-3 Communications Nova Engineering. “Working with The Boeing Company, L-3 Nova revised the code base to create the WNW physical layer specifications, architected the waveform and created an efficient PHY implementation that has been demonstrated on GMR and on small form factor nodes.”

The waveform can be configured for several different bandwidths (1.2 MHz, 3 MHz, 5 MHz, and 10 MHz) and a host of modes are selectable that vary modulation order, FEC, spreading, and diversity. Users can pair the OFDM physical layer with their own networking protocols to address a wide range of requirements.

WNW OFDM supports Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA), and can support other access schemes. The waveform supports dynamic link adaptation, where the radio senses the channel condition and adjusts its operating mode for optimal performance. This adaptation happens automatically, allowing throughput to adjust quickly to optimize quality of service in a large scale, ad hoc network. The technology works with the HF SATCOM waveform as well, Briggs says.

The SDR-4000 rugged wireless modem is packaged in a small 3U CompactPCI form-factor that is conduction-cooled. The modem architecture consists of software reconfigurable processor technology combined into an integrated package that is size, weight, and power optimized for deployment in harsh environments and where power is limited.

For more information, visit www.spectrumsignal.com/products. For more on L-3 Nova, visit www.nova-eng.com.

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