The Federal Office for Information Management and Information Technology of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) has commissioned Rohde & Schwarz to develop a software defined radio (SDR) for its joint radio systems (SVFuA). The aim of the project is not only to develop the base unit, but also to demonstrate that it can be series-produced.

Rohde & Schwarz successfully conducted a study on software defined radios from July 2005 to October 2007 on behalf of the Bundeswehr. This study, which analyzed and demonstrated the use of new technologies for the wideband, highly-secure transmission of information, is the basis for the SVFuA. The company also participates in the SDR Forum, where it is active in developing standards for SCA-based software defined radios.

The SVFuA project involves the development of next-generation mobile radios, which are deployed as network nodes and also as terminals with loadable, adaptive, narrowband and wideband waveforms. In the future, these radio systems will be the backbone of the mobile communications system of the Bundeswehr for all military services during missions.

The SVFuA will be based on standardized software common architecture (SCA) so that in the future, the loading of a new software version will make it possible to adapt to changing requirements on a timely and cost-efficient basis. Interoperability with radios that are already deployed ensures that existing systems and transmission methods can continue to be used.

A broad spectrum of mobile communications requirements is covered, from close-range wideband data transmission up to robust communications over long distances. The SVFuA ensures that the transmission of the information is highly secure, regardless of the transmission method. In addition, the system is capable of multiline operation. A single base unit can support up to three radio lines, which means it can be deployed as a radio network node across multiple frequency bands.

"Rohde & Schwarz will bring the full scope of its expertise in the field of software defined radios to the SVFuA project. We look forward to making this project a reality in line with the needs of the Bundeswehr," said Herbert Rewitzer, head of the company’s Radiocommunications Systems Division. "We will use this opportunity to further enhance our capabilities and create highly-skilled jobs in Germany. The company has already opened a development center in Stuttgart-Weilimdorf in October 2008."