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CHIPS Articles: JPEO JTRS Update, January-March 2011

JPEO JTRS Update, January-March 2011
By JPEO JTRS Strategic Communications - January-March 2011
JPEO JTRS Releases the Software Communications Architecture Next Draft Specification

The Joint Program Executive Office for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS) has released the SCA Next Draft Specification. The new radio standard provides a technical refresh which will enable improved radios and extends the usability of the radio standard to other radios, including public safety, space and commercial applications.

A joint team of JPEO JTRS, commercial, and international system and software developers collaborated to produce the SCA new radio standard which defines a common framework for the deployment, management, interconnection and intercommunication of waveforms components in embedded, multiprocessor radios.

"The release of SCA Next is very important because expectations of radios have changed since the original draft SCA was released in 1999,” said Jeff Mercer, director of Strategic Communications for JPEO JTRS. "Networking, small radio size, and long battery life are expected not only from personal mobile phones but also from tactical DoD radios."

The SCA separates the waveform from the radio's operating environment allowing waveform portability across various radio types. It also allows radio developers to interchange and upgrade existing radio services and hardware without major system revisions.

"The draft specification will be reviewed and prototyped over the next year and if determined mature and ready for deployment, it would formally become a new version of the SCA," Mercer explained.

SCA Next is more scalable, lightweight and flexible than SCA 2.2.2. It is compatible with radio sizes ranging from small, single channel radios to prime-power, multichannel sets.

As a technology refresh, it incorporates advances in portability for digital signal processor (DSP) and field-programmable gate array (FPGA) processors and new design patterns for its application program interfaces (APIs).

Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) is no longer required, permitting radio-specific middleware similar to the Android’s remote procedure call (RPC) for communication between software components and hardware devices.

Registration of components and devices has been redesigned, incorporating a "push" model that substantially reduces communication. This enhancement facilitates dynamic or static configurations and reduces startup times.

A flexible specification for the application environment profile (AEP) defines the minimum operating system features required for a specific radio platform. Units of functionality permit a radio supplier to independently define optional services such as log, event, CORBA, multichannel, and more.

The specification is available for download from the JPEO JTRS Software Communications Architecture (SCA) website at

Recent MIDS-LVT Follow-On Contract Awards

The Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) International Program Office has completed additional contract actions in pursuit of its mission to develop, field and support interoperable, affordable and secure MIDS tactical data link and programmable networking technologies and capabilities for the joint, coalition and international warfighter. The follow-on contracts, which are worth a combined total of about $64,670,000 were awarded to BAE, Data Link Solutions and ViaSat in September 2010.

The $34,500,000 follow-on contract awarded to BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc. calls for the maintenance of MIDS-Low Volume Terminal (MIDS-LVT) software. About 98 percent of the work will be performed in Wayne, N.J., with 2 percent of the work performed in Paris, France.

The $24,629,000 follow-on contract awarded to Data Link Solutions calls for the delivery of MIDS-LVTs to the United States, Finland, Pakistan and Hungary. About 50 percent of the work will be performed in Wayne, N.J., and another 50 percent will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The $5,521,000 follow-on contract awarded to ViaSat calls for the delivery of MIDS-LVTs to the United States and Australia. About 30 percent of the work will be performed in Carlsbad, Calif., with about 70 percent performed at various sites worldwide.

MIDS-LVTs provide secure, high-capacity, jam resistant, digital data and voice communications capability for joint, coalition and international warfighters. The MIDS-LVT is procured through the MIDS International Program Office based in San Diego, Calif. The MIDS partner nations are Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United States. Thirty countries around the world have already received MIDS-LVTs and an additional 11 countries have been approved to acquire them at a future date.

Save the Date
JTRS Science and Technology Forum 2011, March 14-17, 2011 JPEO JTRS will sponsor its annual JTRS Science and Technology Forum (JSTeF), March 14-17, 2011, on the campus of the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, Calif. Cosponsors include the Wireless Innovation Forum (WINNF) and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). The event will feature keynote addresses and interactive panel discussions by influential military, political, industry and academic leaders, discussing the importance of innovative wireless communications and networking within the Defense Department, emerging technologies of interest to defense planners, and the roles of industry and academia in developing future software-defined radio capabilities. Registration is available via the WINNF website at

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