Waveforms for LOS/BLOS communications

The national implementation of cryptographic algorithms safeguards all of a radio’s characteristics that are relevant for national security. After approval of the software by the security authorities, the waveform can be downloaded onto the software defined radio (SDR) in compliance with the security regulations. This flexibility opens up additional opportunities for enabling interoperability of the communications technology between partners: For example, interoperability between the armed forces (joint missions), between allies (combined missions) and even with public safety organizations.

Waveform development in the context of software defined radio has to address topics beyond waveform development for legacy systems (e.g. for HF modems). The key requirements of modern software defined radio based waveform development are met by using a defined approach to waveform development for all waveform development steps. The radio and radio platform software is based on the SCA 2.2.2 standard.


The different waveforms of software defined radios need to cover all required applications/use cases such as situational awareness, live video transmission, command and control, and simple voice communications. There are different design aspects to be considered when developing a waveform for tactical communications:

  • Robustness and mobility
  • Jam resistance
  • Low probability of detection and interception
  • High data rate
  • High range and coverage
  • Networking capability (MANET) and quality of service
  • Adaptability

The individual properties partly influence each other physically. Different waveforms are needed to adapt the technical settings to the mission scenario.
Example: A waveform suitable for air-ground communications must cope with the high speed of the airborne platform, and therefore must include Doppler shift compensation. This is not necessary for ground-ground communications.

Figure: Translate technical capabilities into user-oriented operational benefits
Figure: Translate technical capabilities into operational benefits

Translate technical capabilities into operational benefits

For example, the use of SCA (software communications architecture) based waveforms for SDR (software defined radios) enables:

  • Independence of software from specific hardware solutions
  • Scalability in terms of radio channels and radio platforms (handheld to airborne)
  • Portability of application software between different SCA implementations
  • Reduction in development time for a new waveform through the ability to reuse modules

Interoperability is not only important for protecting national interests, it is also essential for allied missions. Rohde & Schwarz provides access to suitable tools for porting legacy and modern innovative waveforms. This gives the end user backward compatibility to existing waveforms and radio systems as well as investment security for future scenarios ("joint & combined").

Rohde & Schwarz even offers you the possibility to design and operate your communications solutions completely independently from manufacturer or other governmental influence.

Waveforms for LOS/BLOS communications

Line of sight (LOS) waveforms
Line of sight (LOS) waveforms

Supported by software defined radios in the R&S®M3xR VHF/UHF radio families.

BLOS (beyond line of sight) waveforms
BLOS (beyond line of sight) waveforms

Supported by software defined radios in the R&S®M3xR HF radio families.

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