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Design and Implementation of a Portable Software Radio

NCJ Number
Date Published
7 pages

This report on the construction of a portable software radio prototype addresses the growing application-range for software radios and the lack of industrial adoption of the technology, and aims to show that current technology is ready and able to implement a portable-form-factor, general purpose processor (GPP)-based software radio.


In this report, the authors describe the design and development of a portable software radio prototype that was built primarily using open-source hardware and software, and commercial, off-the-shelf components (COTS). The radio operates using GNU Radio software for signal processing on a small-form-factor, general purpose processor (GPP)-based computer and an Ettus USRP. The authors provide details about their methods of score platform selection, hardware integration, and software integration. The authors argue that their efforts demonstrate the significant progress that has been made towards making portable software radios commercially-viable, and conclude that GPP-based software radios will soon provide the processing power, scalability, and reconfigurability required by today’s communications needs, and that the presence of an easily programmable and reconfigurable wireless platform in the research arena has the potential to accelerate innovation and stimulate more rapid deployment of new wireless protocols and platforms.

Date Published: January 1, 2008