MRT Article on Frequency Agile Cognitive Radio

Posted in public safety at 8:25 am by JamesNeel

Primarily, the article summarizes contract awards in the development of SDR and cognitive radio.


1) There’s a claim in the article that cognitive radio will be cheaper than a normal radio. While I expect that to eventually be true, I don’t see it happening in the first few generations of cognitive radio. Basically, there’s going to need to be changes in the way radios are designed, the way systems are specified, and the way spectrum policy is specified. And all of that is not going to happen at once.

2) Also on the subject of price, the $500/radio DARPA quote is just for the brick (hardware). Software development will significantly add to the price tag. As radios transition to SDR, the majority of the cost will increasingly come from the software. This is to be expected as the goal of SDR is to realize as much functionality in software as possible.

3) The article mentions the value that IT saw from open standards in terms of decreasing prices. Drawing an analogy with IT, I also expect the value from SDR and CR to be minimal, if not more expensive, when just replacing existing solutions. Real value will come from new applications and as processes are adapted to leverage SDR and CR.

4) Bitwave has made big claims for their RFICs which I’ve cited in presentations. However, I’ve heard of delivery and performance issues. Anyone have any first-hand information?

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