Software radios for highly integrated system architecture
The project aims to establish new design methods and digital signal processing techniques allowing robust and efficient universal navigation and communication equipment in the fields of aeronautics and aerospace. New avionic standards are under study and strong arguments exist for the adoption of software defined radios at this point of time. The project anticipates the integration of multiple navigation and communication systems in a single hardware element minimizing space, part count, avionic weight that addresses more directly airspace management needs, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emission in the framework of international environmental initiatives. The aeronautic and aerospace industries strive for an approach using a single generic reprogrammable and universal system allowing replacement of multiple and burdensome radios/antennas presently in use. The proposed system will permit simultaneous functionalities of multiple systems accommodated on a flexible integration platform suitable for future applications. The project will consist of: distance measuring equipment (DME), Mode S transponder and wideband digital radio, including ADS-B, built with novel software defined architecture proximal to the antenna. The architecture enables the capability to redeploy functionality based on phase of flight and minimizes connectors, antennas, cable length, electromagnetic interference (EMI) and system footprint. The goal is to convert to digital, the radiofrequency (RF) signal, close to the antenna and to transmit the baseband signal to a generic radio for further digital signal processing. The proposed software defined radio (SDR) topology will address different embedded system applications. The proof-of-concept demonstrator will be evaluated in-laboratory and in-flight using simulation equipment and a flight test platform under real operating conditions. This will validates protocols and system performance with ground and airborne infrastructure. The project will contribute to international initiatives for the definition of new standards and contribute to Canadian efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create new employment opportunities for the team of highly qualified personnel.
This project will ultimately benefit the partner’s organizations by providing the knowledge and knowhow on how to use software defined radio technology in an aircraft environment.