This report on the construction of a portable software radio prototype seeks to demonstrate that today’s processors, made with readily available components, can enable a new generation of software radio in portable form-factor devices with advanced functionality.
In this report, the authors describe the design and development of a portable software radio prototype that was built primarily using commercial, off-the-shelf components (COTS), open-source GNU Radio software for signal processing, and a small-form-factor general-purpose processor (GPP)-based computer and an Ettus Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) for the air interface. The prototype has the same capabilities as GNU Radio running on an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU-based computer running at two GHz with an Ettus USRP attached. Aside from the radio hardware, the prototype includes touchscreen and LCD, audio microphone and speaker, and an internal battery that allows hours of mobile operation. The authors seek to demonstrate the effects of recent advances in GPP-based software radio for use in interoperable public safety communications, cognitive wireless networking, and educational initiatives. The authors conclude that going forward, emerging applications of software radio will offer the possibility of revolutionizing the wireless industry through cognitive functionality and allow radios to dynamically access spectrum as needed, as well as, moving transmissions elsewhere if legacy radios communicate using the same spectrum.
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