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ILA 2018: Tuning In

Rohde & Schwarz unveil new airborne radio during Berlin Air Show

Rohde & Schwarz has unveiled its R&S SDAR (Software Defined Airborne Radio) at this year’s ILA Berlin Air Show being held in the city between 26 April and 29 April. The SDAR has a standard 30 megahertz/MHz to 512MHz Very/Ultra High Frequency (V/UHF) waveband which is subdivided into segments of 30MHz to 88MHz (military air-to-ground/ground-to-air frequency modulated radio communications), 108MHz to 118MHz (receive only, covering VHF Omnidirectional Range navigation beacons), 118MHz to 156MHz (Air Traffic Control/ATC), 156MHz to 174MHz for maritime communications, and 225MHz to 512MHz (military air-to-air/air-to-ground/ground-to-air amplitude modulated communications). The radio also has four guard frequencies of 40.5MHz (military air-to-ground/ground-to-air tactical distress frequency) emergency channel, 121.5MHz (international civilian air distress frequency), 158.8MHz (maritime distress frequency) and 243MHz (military distress beacon monitoring and voice communications system).

Rohde & Schwarz note that the radio can carry several waveforms including the company’s proprietary fixed, and frequency-hopping SECOS waveform carrying voice and data traffic, plus its self-explanatory HDR (High Data Rate) waveform which also carries both voice and data. The HDR waveform offers both high and low levels of communications security with data rate trade-offs therein (the high security version of the waveform inherently imposes a reduction on data rates). In terms of the HDR waveforms, the radio can carry all three members of the waveform family including the HDR-AJ-NB (HDR Anti-Jam Narrowband) waveform which can handle 110 kilobits-per-second (kbps) across a 25 kilohertz (KHz) channel, HDR-AJ-WB (HDR Anti-Jam Wideband) which carries 630kbps across a 250KHz channel and the HDR-WB carrying 2.1 megabits-per-second over a 500 kilohertz channel. This is in addition to the option of adding the US SINCGARS (Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System) waveform operating across a 30MHz to 88MHz waveband, and HAVEQUICK-I/II waveform operating across a waveband of 225MHz to 400MHz, and its SATURN waveform successor (225MHz to 400MHz for air-to-air). The company states that the radio is unique in that it can be used as the primary ATC and military communications system onboard the aircraft, and has been developed using extensive international civilian standards for certification, thus enabling an aircraft so equipped to easily navigate in both controlled civilian airspace and military environments. Rohde & Schwarz adds that the radio has been developed entirely by the company using its own funding and that it is currently on contract and being delivered to undisclosed customers.

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