Joint Tactical Radio System - Overview


Launched with a Mission Needs Statement in 1997 and a subsequent requirements document in 1998 (which has been revised several times), JTRS is a family of software-defined radios that will work with many existing military and civilian radios. It includes integrated encryption and Wideband Networking Software to create mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs).

The JTRS program has been beset by delays and cost overruns, particularly Ground Mobile Radios (GMR), run by Boeing. Problems included a decentralized management structure, changing requirements, and unexpected technical difficulties that increased size and weight goals that made it harder to add the required waveforms.

The JTRS is built on the Software Communications Architecture (SCA), an open-architecture framework that tells designers how hardware and software are to operate in harmony. It governs the structure and operation of the JTRS, enabling programmable radios to load waveforms, run applications, and be networked into an integrated system. A Core Framework, providing a standard operating environment, must be implemented on every hardware set. Interoperability among radio sets is increased because the same waveform software can be easily ported to all radios.

The Object Management Group (OMG), a not-for-profit consortium that produces and maintains computer industry specifications for interoperable enterprise applications, is working toward building an international commercial standard based on the SCA.

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