Military Embedded Systems

Airborne and ground radio data to be connected with new SDRs for Air Force


May 21, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Collins Aerospace photo.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp., is developing two software-defined radios (SDR) for the U.S. Air Force that will aim to connect and transmit airborne and ground radio data for the first time using a multi-node network.

The Software Programmable Agile Radio for Tactical Connected Ubiquitous Systems (SPARTACUS) and Software Programmable Agile Radio Frequency (RF) Tactical Aerial Network (SPARTAN) will aim to leverage an open architecture to enable the U.S. Air Force to develop and implement mission-specific waveforms.

By combining commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology with military hardware, Collins Aerospace claims that it has made it possible for network nodes to expand and extend the effective range data can travel.

The Collins Aerospace ground radio for the SPARTACUS program will aim to connect ground links to air links in an aircraft. This radio will be designed to support legacy and future waveforms, and also integrate additional third-party waveforms. The Collins Aerospace SPARTAN radio is capable of operating multiple waveforms simultaneously, and the SPARTAN and SPARTACUS radios support a variety of waveform capabilities including multi-node directional data links and beyond-line-of-sight SATCOM links.


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Collins Aerospace

2730 West Tyvola Road
Charlotte, NC 28217-4578