Toward Composable Hardware Agnostic Communications Blocks - Lessons Learned
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH LEXINGTON LEXINGTON United States
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In recent years, there has been a large push in the U.S. Department of Defense DoD to more rapidly respond and adapt to changing technology advancements and emerging threats. Nowhere is an accelerated pace of innovation more needed than in the airborne tactical domain where the predominant communication system, Link 16, has been in use forever 40 years. Airborne tactical systems are often stove-piped, highly integrated, and designed to be hardware-specific, making insertion of new technology at the component level extremely challenging. To resolve these limitations, DARPA has been exploring an architecture which separates the transceiver from the waveform processors from the application processors. Each of these processors can be programmed with composable waveform blocks that can be chained together dynamically to leverage the available apertures to perform different missions from communications, SIGINT, electronic warfare, and others. As part of the effort, many of the current generation of airborne tactical waveforms were ported to the new architecture. In this paper, we describe some lessons learned in developing hardware agnostic, composable, software communications blocks as a proof of concept of the modular new architecture.
- Radiofrequency Wave Propagation