Standards body eyes JTRS

A computer industry consortium may adopt the military's Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) architecture as the international commercial standard for software-defined radios.

Officials at the Object Management Group (OMG) is finalizing standards based on the JTRS software communications architecture, according to a military statement. The architecture defines a framework for hardware and software that allows for the reuse of radio casing saving manufacturing and recycling costs.

"The OMG-JTRS relationship yields an exciting example of developing standards that span the commercial and military domains, letting both communities better leverage and share technical advances," said Richard Soley, OMG chairman and chief executive officer, in the statement.

The Defense Department's JTRS program director said the decision shows the quality of the work done by the military and industry during the radio's design and development phase. "It speaks to the value of the JTRS Software Communications Architecture," said Air Force Col. Steven MacLaird, who oversees the JTRS Joint Program Office.

JTRS devices are designed to replace the military's disparate radios with a unified standard that can be customized for each service. The military owns more than 750,000 radios of 25 makes and models, many of which are incompatible.

DOD officials hope the new systems will decrease those numbers and increase radio functionality by operating across the spectrum from 2 MHz to 2 GHz. JTRS radio capabilities will be defined largely by software, which should make updates easier for new applications and allow radio casings to be used more than once.

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