MoD and BEL sign contract for procurement of SDR's
The SDR-Tac, collectively developed and designed by Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory (DEAL) of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) via a consortium of national agencies and business, comprising Weapons and Electronics Systems Engineering Establishment (WESEE), BEL, Centre for Artificial Intelligence & Robotics (CAIR) and Indian Navy will bring tactical depth to the Armed Forces. The delivery will occur within three years. The BEL is already providing SDR-Naval Combat (NC) and SDR-Air is under user evaluation trial. The DRDO and BEL are planning to provide latest SDR with security grading to the Armed Forces.
It's intended to serve ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore and ship-to-air voice and data communication for network centric operations. It supports simultaneous operation of all of the four channels covering V/UHF and L Band. This SDR system homes multiple types of waveforms for narrow band and wide band applications. The MANET waveforms can be found in UHF and L-Band to encourage adhoc networking attribute for internet centric operations. User investigation trials covering exhaustive harbour phase and sea stage trials were completed successfully throughout May to June 2018 at Visakhapatnam for all waveforms such as V/UHF and L-Band MANET waveforms under different network configurations.
Interoperability trials were also carried out with all other form factors covering Airborne SDR-AR on board Dornier Aircraft, SDR-Tac on board INS Kirch in sailing style, SDR-Manpack and SDR-Handheld. Each of the facets were assessed successfully by all user agencies of Navy and clearance was accorded for procurement.
The Armed forces are in need of transition from the sole purpose radio of yesteryear to more flexible Software Defined Radios (SDRs) to serve most of their wireless communication needs. All these SDRs will be backward compatible with existing Indian radios. Different Service groups need different form factor radios for certain platforms and waveforms/applications. The SDRs permit usage of common waveform/application implementation methods for various form factors. They also allow execution of futuristic waveforms on the same hardware using software programmability, thus ensuring longer life and savings on cost.
A key aspect in SDRs is that software programmability allows easy changes of the radio's fundamental features such as modulation forms, working frequencies, bandwidths, multiple access schemes, channel and source coding/decoding procedures, spreading/de-spreading techniques and encryption/decryption algorithms. Conventional hardware-centric radios require hardware modifications to alter these basic characteristics. Multiple kinds of radio equipment can be replaced using multi-mode, multi band, multi-role SDR's of suitable kind variables.