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Spectrum and GateHouse to Demonstrate Live Software Defined Implementation of the Inmarsat BGAN Waveform

12/1/09 - Spectrum Signal Processing by Vecima (TSX:VCM) and GateHouse announced they will be demonstrating a software defined radio (SDR) implementation of the Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) waveform on Spectrum's flex Commô SDR-4000 transceiver at Booth 25 during the SDR Forum Product Expo happening December 2-3, 2009 in Washington, DC. Visitors to the booth will be able to access the internet live via the Inmarsat satellite network.

The Inmarsat BGAN SDR Waveform will enable radio and satellite terminal manufacturers to implement on-demand beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) capability on their products or systems. By using a software reconfigurable hardware platform such as the SDR-4000, a single radio and terminal can support a variety of terrestrial, satellite, BLOS and line-of-sight (LOS) waveforms.

"The Inmarsat BGAN SDR waveform demonstration validates Spectrum's SDR-4000 as the commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) platform of choice to enable rugged, multi-purpose terminal solutions that can operate across different networks and enable interoperable communications," said Mark Briggs, Vice President of Business Development at Spectrum. "The SDR-4000 offers terminal and gateway manufacturers the ability to update their systems as needed over time through software instead of expensive hardware upgrades, ultimately reducing the total cost of ownership for their end customers."

"For the first time it is possible to enable software defined radios to take advantage of Inmarsat's Broadband Global Area Network, and GateHouse's Inmarsat BGAN SDR waveform offers a commercially available software implementation," said Pia Ankerstjerne, Vice President of GateHouse USA. "The availability of the BGAN SDR waveform opens a new method to establish broadband satellite communication on the move, in the air or at sea, even in the most remote areas, using the same hardware as is used for other means of communication."

"Inmarsat is excited to support this joint initiative from Spectrum and GateHouse to offer an SDR implementation of the BGAN waveform," said Marcus Vilaca, Chief Scientist at Inmarsat. "We hope this will further the adoption of BGAN by commercial and military users."

Demonstration Overview

Visitors will be able to see a BGAN Class 10 (Land Mobile) terminal running the BGAN SDR Waveform at Booth 25 during the SDR Forum Product Expo. Visitors will be able to use the terminal to access the Internet via the Inmarsat satellite network at speeds of up to 492 kbps bi-directional. The BGAN SDR waveform runs on the SDR-4000 software reconfigurable transceiver hardware, and utilizes a full Software Communications Architecture (SCA) core framework.

The SDR-4000 is a multi-purpose reconfigurable transceiver that supports waveforms such as:

  • Inmarsat BGAN
  • Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) mode
  • Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) Electronic Warfare (EW) mode
  • Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS)
  • Future Multiband Multiwaveform Modular Tactical Radio (FM3TR)
  • APCO Project 25 (P25)

The SDR-4000 is available in air-cooled packages for benign environments or conduction-cooled packages for deployments in harsh environments. The SDR-4000 is available with a real-time operating system, quic Commô hardware abstraction layer and API library, and Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) SCARI Software Suite, a complete development environment for the SCA.

Inmarsat BGAN is a 3G satellite communications system, operated by Inmarsat LLC. The system is served by three geo-stationary satellites and supports circuit and packet switched services with data rates up to 492 kbps bi-directionally. Most terminal manufacturers use GateHouse Inmarsat BGAN software for land-portable, aeronautical, maritime, and vehicular products. The Inmarsat BGAN SDR Waveform software being ported on to the SDR-4000 will support all UE (User Equipment) classes and includes the field programmable gate array (FPGA), digital signal processor (DSP), and the general purpose processor (GPP) components of both the physical and protocol layer of the waveform.

By Robert Hoskins

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