Several leading suppliers in the defense/aerospace communications industry have decided to develop and market products using the new VITA Radio Transport (VRT) standard recently approved by the VME International Trade Association (VITA). The companies are Pentek Inc., DRS Signal Solutions, Digital Receiver Technology Inc., and Eclipse Electronic Systems. The VITA VRT working group expects to move toward recognition of VRT as an American National Standard within the next six months.
The VRT standard defines a transport-layer protocol designed to promote interoperability between rf receivers and signal-processing equipment in a wide range of applications. These include spectral monitoring, communications, radar, and others. The standard enables high-precision time stamping to provide time synchronization between multiple receiver channels. VRT is an ideal building block to support data streaming for software-defined radio (SDR) applications.
With the emergence of high-speed serial data links, it is now possible to allow wide-bandwidth communication signals to be exchanged using a packetized format. VRT standardizes this packet structure with features specifically useful to defense and aerospace communication applications.
“Standards such as VRT are important to the SDR Forum and its members,” noted Lee Pucker, the Forum’s chief executive officer. “When combined with application programming interfaces such as the SDR Forum’s approved Smart Antenna API or the Transceiver API that are currently in development, these standards promote an ecosystem of vendors with interoperable radio technologies. This results in faster time to market/time to deployment with lower development and production costs.”
VME International Trade Association