Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) is showcasing its airborne communication solutions at Paris Air Show this week, highlighting the R&S MR6000A, one of the world’s only military airborne transceivers that also meets the civil aviation certification requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The R&S MR6000A is part of the R&S M3AR VHF/UHF airborne transceiver family and is an airborne transceiver that meets both military and civil airborne communications standards. The development process was successfully validated and verified by Airbus and EASA. The software defined transceiver also features highly secure embedded encryption algorithms for protected military communications. More than 7000 software defined radios (SDR) from the R&S M3AR airborne transceiver family have been delivered so far.
All SDRs from R&S offer customers flexibility in operational deployment. This also applies to radios installed at military and civil air traffic control ground stations to provide secure ATC communications.
The R&S MR6000A software defined UHF/VHF transceiver offers particular flexibility for airborne platforms and is deployed in applications, such as the A400M and and KC-390 military transport aircraft. The radio intelligence systems from R&S are integrated into stationary, mobile and airborne platforms around the world and include individually adaptable solutions for detection, direction finding, location and signal processing in a broad range of scenarios. As part of the A400M program,R&S successfully subjected the R&S MR6000A to development processes in line with civil avionics standards for software (RTCA-DO 178) and hardware (RTCA-DO 254). As a result, the radio fulfils civil certification requirements for level C failure classification. Level C design assurance minimises the most serious interference that a radio can cause – loss of communications with air traffic control. Military aircraft can only operate freely around the world if they satisfy both military and civil specifications.
The R&S MR6000A is the best-performing airborne transceiver in the R&S M3AR product family. It covers a frequency range from 30-400MHz. The high transmit power of 20W in AM and 30W in FM mode ensures a long range, even in poor weather conditions or when flying at low levels. The extremely robust transceiver is accommodated in an ARINC 600 housing and offers outstanding RF parameters, such as high sensitivity and large-signal immunity. The R&S MR6000A is highly immune to radiated interference (e.g. from powerful broadcast transmitters or radar equipment) and to cosmic radiation. It contains filters to suppress shortwave and VHF interference as well as interfering signals in the same frequency band (co-site operation).
The R&S M3AR family of transceivers for airborne communications has already proven successful in a broad range of applications. More than 6,500 of these software defined radios from R&S have already been sold for airborne platforms including the A400M and KC-390 transport aircraft, the TORNADO, Eurofighter TYPHOON and F-16 fighter jets, and the NH90, TIGER, EC725 and Sikorsky CH 53 GA helicopters.
The radios can be equipped with a NATO-compatible data and voice encryption option produced by subsidiary R&S SIT. The integrated radio/crypto solution in a single box saves valuable space, weight, wiring and logistical effort. In addition to integrated encryption components, R&S SIT offers the separate ELCRODAT 4-2 (NATO) and R&S MMC3000 (non-NATO) crypto solutions, which can be installed on various military platforms owing to their ruggedisation. The R&S SITLine ETH series is available for encrypting Ethernet data transmitted via fixed network, radio or satellite. The new R&S SITLine ETH40G high speed solution rounds out the product family. It is the first Ethernet encryption device in the world with 40Gbit/s data throughput.