Collins Aerospace recently demonstrated a two-channel airborne networking radio for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that uses 95% of existing hardware but provides increased flexibility and bandwidth by leveraging software-defined-radio (SDR) techniques. The TruNet AR-2000 radio (see figure) employs dual internal power amplifiers (PAs) to eliminate the need for external power amplification and external cooling. The design approach reduces size, weight, and power consumption for airborne applications such as tactical helicopters, Command and Control (C2) aircraft, and larger unmanned aircraft.
The use of SDR technology equips the radio with mission-adjustable capabilities, adapting to changing threats. For example, the radio can support existing waveforms like the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS), as well as address future requirements including networking.
Targeting compact airborne networking solutions, this two-way radio merges existing hardware with new software techniques.
“The AR-2000 is the latest example of our TruNet radio architecture, which has been designed for both airborne and ground radio applications,” says Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager, Communication, Navigation, and Guidance Solutions for Collins Aerospace Systems. “This provides our customers with a low-risk, reliable, and cost-effective approach to crypto modernization and multichannel advanced networking operations no matter what the mission is.”
During a demonstration for the U.S. DoD, the AR-2000 provided simultaneous operation of two networks that connected both Collins Aerospace and other DoD inventory radios. One channel operated a multinode networking waveform with shared voice, data, and video, while the second channel operated using the SINCGARS waveform.