JTRS – WORKING THE NUMBERS
By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE
29 Feb 08. AUSA this year had a number of key announcements and developments regarding the JTRS Program.
JTRS has moved a long way since its first conception in 1997. The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS)is planned as the next-generation voice-and-data radio for use 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 is a software-defined radio that will work with many existing military and civilian radios. It includes integrated encryption and Wideband Networking Software to create mobile ad hoc networks (MANet). The functionality and expandability of the Joint Tactical Radio System are built upon the Software Communications Architecture (SCA), an open-architecture framework that tells designers how hardware and software are to operate in harmony. It governs the structure and operation of the JTRS, enabling programmable radios to load waveforms, run applications, and be networked into
an integrated system.
A Core Framework, providing a standard operating environment, must be implemented on every hardware set. Interoperability among radio sets is increased because the same waveform software can be easily ported to all radios. The Object Management Group (OMG), a not-for-profit consortium that produces and maintains computer industry specifications for interoperable enterprise applications, is working toward building an international commercial standard based on the SCA.
The Software Communications Architecture (SCA) is an open architecture framework that tells designers how elements of hardware and software are to operate in harmony within a software defined radio. SCA is a key element in the U.S. military’s Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS). It governs the structure and operation of the JTRS, enabling programmable radios to load waveforms, run applications, and be networked into an integrated system. A Core Framework, providing a standard operating environment, must be implemented on every hardware set. Interoperability among radio sets is enhanced because the same waveform software can be easily ported to all radio sets.
At the time of inception, JTRS was divided into five Clusters producing different radios for different applications. This proved too cumbersome and unworkable and in JTRS was reformed into different radio technologies:
GMR: Main vehicle radio
JEM: JTRS Enhanced MBITR
HMS: Handhelds, Manpacks, and Small Form Fits
AMF: Airborne, Maritime, and Fixed Station
MIDS J: Multifunctional Information Distribution System
The JTRS GMR system, a key enabler of network-centric communications, offers a software-programmable radio system that provides secure, reliable, multi-channel voice, data, imagery and video communications for mobile military users. This system delivers transformational networked communications on-the-move at the tactical edge to support information sharing and combat readiness between service branches. It puts the full power of the Global Information Grid into the hands of the warfighter and takes network situational awareness beyond the Tactical Operations Center.
Ralph Moslener, Program Director of Boeing’s JTRS GMR segment told BATTLESPACE that Boeing Company began initial production of Engineering Design Models (EDMs) of its software-defined Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radios (JTRS GMR), meeting an important milestone in the plan approved by the program’s Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO) in January of this year.
On hundred and eight pre-EDM JTRS GMR radios already are operating in test environments across the United States. Continuous program field testing also has provided an opportunity to assess the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW), the backbone of the radio’s Internet-like capabilities putting 58 into the FCS Pr