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Thursday, January 19, 2006

SDR forum takes on communications advances

Denver, Colorado-based Software Defined Radio (SDR) forum would today round-up it’s first meeting for the year in Maima with the theme ‘Communications advances’.
Executive Director in charge of Information, Allan Margulies, said the theme was chosen due to relevance of interoperable communication in times of crisis which is paramount, whether for civil emergency services in events such as Hurricane Katrina or for military operations on the battlefield.

Advances in SDR, the director noted are working toward making interoperability a reality for both the military and for civil emergency services.
The forum’s first general meeting of the year, which ends today, Margulies said, began three days ago at the Marriott Dadeland in Miami, Fla., and would address those concerns.
Some working groups and special interest groups, the director said, addressed security, regulatory, education, and marketing issues, as well as technological issues.
Prior to the meeting, on January 16, Max Robert of Virginia Tech’s Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group and a team from Virginia Tech would lead a workshop, also scheduled at the Marriott Dadeland, which presented advances in software technology for use in designing software defined radio systems.
SDR uses software architecture to provide different functions with the same hardware, thus providing the desired operability.
Ideally, an SDR hides the implementation details and provides communication among a variety of different radios by seamlessly changing its software parameters.
“Radios” include any transmitter or receiver, from garage door openers to cell phones to walkie-talkies, to satellite communications systems.
One of the goals of SDR technology is to ensure that wireless users do not have to physically upgrade, change, or install “fixes” on their hardware; rather, that the software definition function is already embedded within the hardware.
The focus of the workshop is on Software Communications Architecture (SCA), in which the word “architecture” refers to the foundation of any digital system, whether it is hardware, software, or a combination of the two.
“This is analogous to an architect’s blueprint, in which the detail is provided for assembling the components,” the director explained.
Workshop leader Mr. Robert said, “Successful SDR is at the nexus point of a variety of technologies spanning both software and hardware. Members of any design team must be aware of the overall systems problems-SDR is not a software problem, and it is not a hardware problem, it is a systems problem.”
SDR membership spans across commercial, defense, and civil government organizations, and includes wireless service providers, network operators, component and equipment manufacturers, hardware and software developers, regulatory agencies, and academia.Presently numbering more than 125 organizations, the SDR forum’s membership includes major commercial wireless players from Asia, Europe, and North America.

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