Patent application title: COMPACT DUAL TRANSCEIVER MODULE FOR A SOFTWARE DEFINED TACTICAL RADIO
George M. Horihan (Staten Island, NY, US)
Dominick Laccona (Wayne, NJ, US)
BAE Systems Information & Electronic Systems Integration Inc.
IPC8 Class: AH04B138FI
Class name: Telecommunications transmitter and receiver at same station (e.g., transceiver) having particular application (e.g., avalanche victim assistance) of a transceiver
Publication date: 2012-11-15
Patent application number: 20120289174
A Dual Integrated Core Engine Transceiver "DICE-T" combines two
transceivers into a single module. The transceivers are based on mobile
processors typically used in handheld devices which have TDPs of less
than 2 Watts, thereby allowing two transceivers to fit without
overheating into a space typically occupied by a single transceiver. Due
to high production volumes and widespread use, the mobile processors are
well proven and low in cost. In embodiments, the mobile processors are
OMAP processors. In some embodiments, the DICE-T can replace a UT module
in a GMR. In some of these embodiments, the OMAP processors include
TM320C64xx DSP cores. In certain embodiments, the OMAP processors are
DM3730 processors. In various embodiments, each DICE-T module includes a
five Watt power amplifier. In embodiments, SINCGAR, SRW, and/or WNW
waveforms are supported by software configuration. In some embodiments,
transceivers can be transitioned by software between waveforms.
1. A compact dual transceiver module for a software defined tactical
radio, comprising: a Dual Integrated Core Engine Transceiver (DICE-T)
universal transceiver module; two software defined radio transceivers
enclosed within the DICE-T module; and a core element installed in each
of the two software defined radio transceivers, each of the core elements
being based on a processor having a total dissipated power (TDP) rating
of less than 2 Watts.
2. The module of claim 1, wherein the TDP of the processor does not exceed 1 W.
3. The module of claim 1, wherein the processor is an OMAP processor.
4. The module of claim 3, wherein the OMAP processor includes a DSP core of the TM320C64xx family.
5. The module of claim 3, wherein each OMAP processor is a DM3730 processor.
6. The module of claim 1, wherein each DICE-T module further includes a five Watt power amplifier.
7. The module of claim 1, wherein at least one of the software defined radio transceivers can be configured by software to support the SINCGARS waveform.
8. The module of claim 1, wherein at least one of the software defined radio transceivers can be configured by software to support the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW).
9. The module of claim 1, wherein at least one of the software defined radio transceivers can be configured by software to support the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW).
10. The module of claim 1, wherein at least one of the software defined radio transceivers can be transitioned under software control between a plurality of waveforms.
11. The module of claim 1, wherein the module is physically and electronically compatible for interchange with a UT module in the GVA of a GMR.
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Applications No. 61/484,049, filed May 9, 2011 and No. 61/518,722, filed May 10, 2011, both of which are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The invention relates to software defined tactical radio systems, and more particularly, to highly compact software defined tactical radio systems.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Tactical radio systems are critical to the communications and control functions of any military operation. As communication requirements have become more demanding and the technology has become more sophisticated, it has become necessary in many cases for a mobile military vehicle during an operation to simultaneously support a plurality of communication channels using a plurality of communication protocols or "waveforms." At the same time, it is important that a tactical radio system meet strict "Size, Power, and Weight" (SWaP) requirements, so as not to unduly burden the resources of the military vehicle.
 The need to include more channels and to support more waveforms within a given SWaP has given rise to a growing need for radio systems that are more compact and consume less power per channel than previous designs without sacrificing functionality. At the same time, it is critical that new tactical radio designs be highly reliable, and that their cost be limited as much as possible, so that they can be deployed in large numbers. It has proven difficult in practice to meet all of these requirements.
 For example, the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) was originally planned to be the next-generation voice-and-data radio to be used by the U.S. military in field operations after 2010. Launched with a Mission Needs Statement in 1997 and a subsequent requirements document in 1998 (which has been revised several times), JTRS was intended to be a software-defined radio that would work with many existing military and civilian radios.
 A vital component of the JTRS program was the Ground Mobile Radio system (GMR), which was targeted for replacing the 2 existing Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) radios currently deployed on military vehicles with a 4 channel radio that could perform SINCGARS and also key "transformational" waveforms such as soldier radio waveform (SRW) and wideband networking waveform (WNW) that were currently in development. Key constraints on GMR were that it should not exceed the SWaP of the current SINCGAR radios, and that it should have a reasonable cost per channel.
 Unfortunately, the JTRS program has been beset by delays and cost overruns, particularly the Ground Mobile Radios (GMR) unit. Problems have included changing requirements and unexpected technical difficulties that increased the size and weight of the unit so that it did not meet its SWaP goals, and so that it became difficult to add the required waveforms and other capabilities. Current GMR radios will not fit on turreted vehicles and are too large and expensive to field. Overheating of units during field testing has been a frequent problem. As a result, in October of 2011 the US Army announced that it planned to cancel its contract for the Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio.
 What is needed, therefore, is a highly compact software-defined tactical mobile radio solution that will support more radio channels and more waveforms than previously fielded designs without requiring an increase in SWaP.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 A Dual Integrated Core Engine Transceiver (DICE-T) universal transceiver module combines two universal transceivers into a single module, thereby meeting three related goals. First, the components necessary for two transceivers fit into a space previously occupied by a single transceiver. Second, the power consumption of the components is low enough to avoid overheating of the module. Third, the cost is minimized. All three of these goals are met in the present invention by utilizing a core element for each transceiver based on a mobile processor which is primarily designed for and used almost exclusively in cellular telephones and other handheld devices. In embodiments, the processor is an OMAP processor, since OMAP's performance vs. size, power & cost are significantly better than competing devices.
 Conventional wisdom at the time of the invention held that mobile processors designed to be used in handheld devices would not be suitable for tactical radio solutions, because they would lack the computational power to perform tasks that are required by tactical radios but do not apply to handheld devices, such as security, cosite interference mitigation, and filtering capabilities that allow the tactical radios to operate in a hostile environment and in close proximity to each other, as well as frequency separation that allows tactical radios to use different filter paths in transmit and receive modes. In addition, handheld device processors typically include functionality such as graphical interface support that would not be used by a tactical radio, and would represent a waste of computing power. The present invention was enabled by the realization that computing power had advanced in handheld devices, particularly in the OMAP family of processors, sufficiently far to enable them to meet the requirements of tactical radios, even though not all of the capabilities of the mobile processor would be used by the tactical radio.
 By realizing that a processor intended for use in handheld devices could satisfy the requirements of a tactical mobile radio, and by using a handheld device processor to perform a task that was not foreseen by its designers, the present invention benefits from the compactness, low power consumption, and low heat dissipation that are intrinsic to handheld device processors. The invention also benefits from the low cost and reliability that handheld device processors provide, since they are manufactured in large quantities and are widely used.
 In embodiments, the DICE-T module can be used to replace a UT module in a GMR radio, thereby providing two transceivers within the SWAP previously required for a single transceiver. In some of these embodiments, each transceiver in the DICE-T module incorporates an OMAP processor model, such as the DM3730 processor, that includes a DSP core of the TM320C64xx family. Since a DSP core of this same family is included in the GMR UT modules, the cost and risk of porting the GMR software for use with the new DICE-T dual modules is significantly reduced. In various embodiments, a dual 5 W power amplifier is also incorporated into each DICE-T unit.
 The present invention is a compact dual transceiver module for a software defined tactical radio that includes a Dual Integrated Core Engine Transceiver (DICE-T) universal transceiver module, two software defined radio transceivers enclosed within the DICE-T module, and a core element installed in each of the two software defined radio transceivers, each of the core elements being based on a processor having a total dissipated power (TDP) rating of less than 2 Watts.
 In embodiments, the TDP of the processor does not exceed 1 W. In some embodiments the processor is an OMAP processor. In other embodiments the OMAP processor includes a DSP core of the TM320C64xx family. In some of these embodiments each OMAP processor is a DM3730 processor.
 In certain embodiments each DICE-T module further includes a five Watt power amplifier. In various embodiments at least one of the software defined radio transceivers can be configured by software to support the SINCGARS waveform.
 In some embodiments at least one of the software defined radio transceivers can be configured by software to support the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). And in other embodiments at least one of the software defined radio transceivers can be configured by software to support the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW).
 In various embodiments at least one of the software defined radio transceivers can be transitioned under software control between a plurality of waveforms. And in certain embodiments the module is physically and electronically compatible for interchange with a UT module in the GVA of a GMR.
 The features and advantages described herein are not all-inclusive and, in particular, many additional features and advantages will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art in view of the drawings, specification, and claims. Moreover, it should be noted that the language used in the specification has been principally selected for readability and instructional purposes, and not to limit the scope of the inventive subject matter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a SINCGARS radio of the prior art;
 FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating the structure of a DICE-T in embodiments of the present invention; and
 FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a GMR radio system in which two of the UT modules have been replaced by DICE-T modules.
 With reference to FIG. 1, a typical prior art tactical radio system 100 such as a SINCGARS radio includes a "universal transceiver" 102 that performs the low power functions of the unit, and a power amplifier 104 that amplifies radio signals for transmission. Power requirements vary according to situation and waveform, typically ranging from as low as 5 W up to 100 W (peak) and higher. As more channels are needed, a typical solution has been to include a plurality of SINCGAR radios in one vehicle. In the example of FIG. 1 the two SINCGAR radios require a SWaP width of 16 inches.
 With reference to FIG. 2, the present invention combines two software-defined universal transceivers 200 within a single module 202, referred to herein as the Dual Integrated Core Engine Transceiver or "DICE-T." As discussed above, design of this new, compact module was enabled by the realization that the transceiver processor cores could be based on mobile processors that were intended for an entirely different class of applications, namely handheld devices, and which had not previously been used in tactical, software-defined radios.
 In particular, each DICE-T 202 includes a core element "CE" 200 based on a mobile processor that is designed for and used almost exclusively for cellular telephones and other hand-held devices. The mobile processor used in the DICE-T has a "Total Dissipated Power" or TDP of less than 2 Watts.
 "Mobile" processors are processors that are designed primarily for use in mobile applications, and have relatively low power consumption. The TDP of a mobile processor is a rating of how much heat it will generate when operating at its maximum capacity, and thereby indicates the required battery power and cooling capacity of any device that incorporates the processor. Typical processors used in laptop computers and similar devices have TDP values of approximately 50 W or less. Even lower TDP ratings are required for handheld devices, since the compact design of a handheld device limits both its cooling capacity and the available battery power. Typical TDP ratings for mobile processors used in handheld devices are a few Watts or less.
 In some embodiments, the mobile processor is an OMAP processor, which provides a performance vs. size, power, and cost that are significantly better than competing devices. Because the OMAP design is intended for use in battery-powered devices and has a TDP of only about 1 Watt, it can satisfy the demanding requirements of a tactical radio system and can still be compactly incorporated into the DICE-T 202 without overheating. In fact, in some embodiments there is sufficient space within the module to include a dual 5 W power amplifier 204 together with the transceivers. OMAP processors are also low in cost, due to the high volume in which they are produced, and the OMAP design is well proven.
 Embodiments of the present invention are adaptable to almost any combination of waveforms, through provision of appropriate software for the software-defined radios. In various embodiments, the software defined radio transceivers can be transitioned under software control between a plurality of waveforms.
 With reference to FIG. 3, in embodiments the DICE-T 202 is compatible in size and interface with a universal transceiver (UT) module of a GMR. By replacing the four single-channel UT modules in a GMR with two DICE-T modules, space is provided for two of the GMR power amplifiers (PA) 104 to be installed in the Ground Vehicular Adaptor (GVA) of the GMR. This allows two channels to be operated using the full power of the GMR PA amplifiers 104, while in embodiments the other two channels can operate using the dual 5 W amplifiers 204 included in the DICE-T modules 202. In the embodiment of FIG. 3, two dual-channel wideband PA modules 304 each containing two 125 W (peak) power amplifiers are installed in the GVA together with the two DICE-T modules, thereby providing high power output for each of the four channels without exceeding the GMR SWaP goals of the JTRS.
 The foregoing description of the embodiments of the invention has been presented for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in light of this disclosure. It is intended that the scope of the invention be limited not by this detailed description, but rather by the claims appended hereto.
Patent applications by BAE Systems Information & Electronic Systems Integration Inc.
Patent applications in class Having particular application (e.g., avalanche victim assistance) of a transceiver
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