Cognitive radio for homeland security applications

Published 24 July 2006

Cognitive radio, a form of software-defined radio, should be very useful in first response and emergency response missions; two companies are going to join forces in order to look into this

Cognitive radio, a form of software-defined radio technology, should play more of a role in homeland security applications, so it is good to see that Burnaby, British Columbia-based CanadaSpectrum Signal Processing (TSX: SSY)(NASDAQ: SSPI) has signed a $500,000 agreement with Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola for the supply of Spectrum’s flexComm SDR-3000 SMRDP. Pascal Spothelfer, Spectrum’s CEO, said: “This agreement is significant because it provides Spectrum with valuable insight into how the public safety and homeland security markets are adopting software defined radio and cognitive radio technologies.”

A cognitive radio is a type of software defined radio which is able to reconfigure its analog radio frequency (RF) output and incorporate self-awareness and knowledge of transmission protocols, etiquette, and procedures. A cognitive radio senses its RF environment and location and is able to alter its power, frequency, modulation, and other operating parameters in order dynamically to reuse whatever radio spectrum is available.

Spectrum’s SDR-3000 SMRDP is based on the company’s SDR-3000 software defined radio processing and analog-to-digital/digital-to-analog converter boards in a four-slot 2U CompactPCI chassis. These components are integrated with two RF transceiver subsystems in a 20-slot 3U CompactPCI chassis. The system includes all software application libraries, including digital down-conversion and digital up-conversion field programmable gate array cores, operating systems, and a Software Communications Architecture Core Framework.