FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. - U.S. Army engineers in collaboration with their Navy counterparts hope to open the gates of cognitive radio development to academia, industry and other DoD organizations by building a universal radio test-bed this year.

The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center's Software Defined Radio lab will work with the Navy Research Lab to transfer previous development done on the Joint Tactical Radio System to the GNU Radio's open source, free software environment.

Through the GNU platform which is inexpensive and universally accessible, universities, contract companies and government agencies can use a common platform to advance the state of cognitive radio software. The transition to the GNU platform will help ease collaboration efforts with other organizations who frequently opt to use 'grass-roots' hardware for programming due to the comparably high-cost and limited accessibility of JTRS radios.

Additionally, the GNU platform will enable the SDR lab to conduct large lab tests and field tests, rather than having to simulate larger-scale network testing. The cost constraints associated with the JTRS radio prohibit larger-scale networking, limiting the number of radios they can test at one time, explained SDR lab team lead, Tim Leising.

Through funding provided by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Director of Defense, Research and Engineering, the SDR lab team will collaborate with the Navy Research Lab, to start building a universal GNU radio test bed this year. Once the test-bed is completed, they will work together to make it remote-accessible using the Defense Research Engineering Network to house the software platform, allowing DoD organizations and external research partners to test their software on it from any location.

CERDEC will facilitate a dial-in Q&A session for media participants to interact with leading U.S. Army researchers involved in developing the GNU test-bed. To participate in the media round table, contact CERDEC Public Affairs: (732) 427-1926.

The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) is one of the research and development centers under the U.S. Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM).

The Software-Defined Radio (SDR) lab is part of CERDEC's Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate.