Successful JTRS Science and Technology Forum Held at Calit2
San Diego, CA, March 7, 2008 -- Over 150 representatives of the communications industry, defense technology communities and academia attended a two day forum last week in Calit2's Atkinson Hall. The theme was current and innovative efforts to explore new technologies for tactical radios and wireless networks.
The Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO) for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) sponsored the "JTRS Science and Technology Forum" held on Feb. 25-26. It was a kickoff to what will be a series of forums which will continue to build a community of academia, industry and government to advance the state of tactical radios and wireless networks. JTRS is developing an open architecture of cutting-edge radio waveform technology that allows multiple radio types (e.g., handheld, aircraft, maritime) to communicate with each other.
"Our vision for this forum is to build a community that is exploring new science and technology possibilities for Software Defined Radios and wireless networking," said Dennis Bauman, the keynote speaker, "This community, consisting of industry, academia and government, is critical to the success and future of the Joint Tactical Radio System." Bauman is the Joint Program Executive Officer for JPEO JTRS.
"By holding this forum at Calit2 UCSD, we are meeting in an atmosphere that is perfect for exploring novel ideas to achieve our objectives - that is the strength of a university," continued Bauman, "Likewise, we value our prime industry partners and our current Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contractors to provide a diverse view-point in exploring the new technologies." From 1980 to 2000, Bauman designed and taught courses at UCSD for the Computer Science and Engineering department; he has been involved in industry as well.
Other guest speakers on Day 1 included Gary Wang, Chief Technology Officer at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR), San Diego and professor Bill Hodgkiss, acting director of the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). Day 2's guest speaker was Rich North, Technical Director of JPEO JTRS. Opening and closing remarks and introductions on both days were made by John Armantrout, JPEO JTRS Chief Technology Officer.
The remainder of the agenda for both days was devoted to presentations by Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award recipients; 27 contractors gave overviews of the status, milestones, achievements and next steps of their research and the prospects for integration into defense and commercial communications products.
In addition, more than a dozen SBIR contractors took the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate their technologies in the Small Business Technology Exhibits which were on display in the Calit2 Theater area on both days.
"We're really happy to be involved with this cooperation between the university and the JTRS program office," said Kevin Lynaugh, "This is an excellent opportunity for us to get some exposure, which is often difficult and expensive for small companies. It's been great experience." Lynaugh is the president of Vulcan Wireless Inc, an SBIR Phase I JTRS awardee located in Carlsbad, CA.
This type of forum provides a number of opportunities for sharing and potential integration of ideas, resources and technologies. The SBIR participants can hear about what each other are doing and connect in many different ways. The larger, prime contractors in attendance can look at how they may partner with some of the SBIR companies, bringing their technology into the larger projects that they are working on. In each of their remarks, JTRS personnel encouraged the attendees to partner in developing future capabilities.
"From what I've seen some partners here are very innovative in their approach to solving problems," said Calvin Ng, program manager at SFA, Inc., "Everyone has a creative and different approach to addressing some very tough issues. It's good to see great minds and how they think and what they bring to the table." Ng is the site manager for the San Diego branch of SFA, Inc.
"From our perspective, this is a great opportunity to see what different parts of the community are working on and how we might best interact with the various participants," noted Calit2's Hodgkiss, "It's really worked out well because the exhibits and presentations have been sufficiently well detailed technically, so you can get a good feeling for it in a short period of time. It's been great."
The mission of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO), which is headquartered in San Diego, CA is to develop and produce a family of interoperable, affordable Software Defined Radios at moderate risk which provide secure, wireless networking communications capabilities for Joint forces.
The JPEO JTRS directs all aspects of JTRS acquisition including product development and certification, product logistics support, fiscal oversight, future development, and program control and reporting.
JTRS is critical to serving as the last tactical mile connecting the warfighter on the ground to the networking capabilities that are delivered through the Department of Defense's (DOD's) information infrastructure called the Global Information Grid (GIG).