QNX Software Systems announced its Neutrino
embedded operating system will help cut costs and simplify upgrades in future Falcon
III software-defined radios made by Harris
The POSIX-compliant real-time
operating system (RTOS) will enable military users to easily change radio
waveforms and add new protocols dynamically, without requiring replacement of
entire handsets. QNX said the Neutrino RTOS had been deployed in the
Falcon III for some time, but the software-maker was unable to divulge it
publicly until now.†
they can upgrade their radios dynamically in the field and add new coding or
security measures, without having to re-equip everyone," said Kerry Johnson,
director of product management for QNX Software Systems.
Falcon II radios include multi-band, multi-mission radios in vehicular,
handheld and so-called "manpack" configurations. The company's AN/PRC-152(C) handheld radio
recently became the first and only radio to be certified as fully compliant
with version 2.2 of the Software
Communications Architecture of the Department of Defense's Joint Tactical
reportedly opted for Neutrino as one of its RTOSes because it supports the
POSIX (portable operating system interface) standards that define application
programming interfaces (APIs) for embedded products. QNX engineers also said recently-rolled-out Neutrino
Secure Kernel appealed to the OEM because it enhances security of
battlefield communication systems.
are expected to employ the software-defined radios (SDRs) to replace
fixed-function radios because they offer reconfigurable devices that can
"learn" new capabilities, as well as †modulation schemes and wireless protocols.
By employing the SDRs, the
Department of Defense reportedly realizes major cost savings. "The cost of
retro-fitting and entire mobile force would be astronomical," Johnson said.
"Software-defined radio allows them to deploy changes to each soldier every
time there's an upgrade."