Wireless Applications

FreeWave Expands Embedded Radio System Lines

April 9, 2009

Using the 1.3 GHz and UHF frequency bands, the wireless provider offers government and military OEMs small form-factor communications platforms for use in sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, and unmanned ground vehicles.

BOULDER, CO /PRNewswire/ -- FreeWave Technologies, the "largest independent provider of high-performance spread-spectrum and licensed radio products and services," announced the release of two new additions to its MM2 family of high-performance, tiny form factor radios: the MM2-M13 and the MM2-MU. The MM2-M13 product line operates in the 1.3 GHz band, and the MM2-MU operates in the UHF band. The new radios complement FreeWave's earlier MM2 family of products that operate in the 900 MHz band, with both serial and Ethernet interfaces. The two newest additions to the MM2 family offer government and military OEMs the ability to tap the MM2's tiny footprint and high-performance for space- and weight-critical applications, such as sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).

The new products were developed based on customer input. "Our customers told us they were looking for a small form-factor radio, with the performance of the larger FreeWave radios in the same 1.3 GHz and UHF government frequencies," explained Harold Christopher, Product Manager for FreeWave's MM2 Systems. "Our customers wanted a radio that was robust and reliable enough to fly the whole mission while being compatible with existing, deployed systems. FreeWave has come through with the introduction of the MM2-M13 and MM2-MU families of 1.3 GHz and UHF radios."

While small in size, the radios provide the same features and functionality as FreeWave's full-size military/government band radios. The MM2-M13 family of radios is backwards compatible with FreeWave's P Series family of radios and the MM2-MU family is backwards compatible with the company's F series wideband family of radios. This allows customers to replace their existing radios with a much smaller footprint in unmanned vehicles, together with a standard-size or enclosed radio at the base station or use the same base station with new UAVs. "Backwards compatibility is a key FreeWave hallmark," Christopher explained. "Our customers can use the new radios in aircraft or vehicles without modifying their ground control equipment that currently uses the full size FreeWave radios." Both radios also can fit into small handheld controllers, he added.

With their light weight and small size, the new radios are the ideal communications platform for the control and monitoring of UAVs and UGVs, as well as other unmanned vehicles used throughout the world. Other applications include guided parachutes, sensor networks, and many others. Light weight and small size are key factors in allowing UAVs to fly longer missions. Longer missions equate to more intelligence from the UAV, saving lives on the ground.

Features include:

  • A full 2 W (1 W for the MM2-M13) transmitter power extends the range of the radio to more than 60 miles.

  • Increased operating voltage to 8–32 VDC provides broader compatibility with various unmanned systems. 5 VDC versions also are available.

  • The ability to operate as a slave/repeater further extends network range and coverage.

  • Receive sensitivity of –107 dBm for BER 10–4 extends its range for longer missions and better intelligence.

  • RS232/485 or TTL interface is available for easy adaptation to existing and new unmanned systems. Ethernet versions of these radios also are available, providing Ethernet connectivity and two RS 232 ports.

  • 230.4 Kbps max. throughput enables the transfer of critical data back to ground troops fast.

  • Specifications are 50.8 mm by 50.8 mm and 21 g.

FreeWave is currently accepting orders for both the MM2-MU and the MM2-M13. FreeWave's new MM2-M13 and MM2-MU radios will be available for shipment later in the second quarter. For more information, visit the company's Web site.

About FreeWave
Founded in 1993, FreeWave Technologies is a world leader in the innovative design and manufacture of license-free spread-spectrum and licensed band radios and wireless data solutions that are trusted for mission-critical applications around the world. Based in Boulder, CO, the company offers network design, path studies, and pre-installation engineering services to enable reliable, error-free data-flow in even the most challenging conditions and in environments. FreeWave is the "only long-term radio provider with in-family 100% backward compatibility with fully integrated, best-in-class engineered products." For additional information, contact FreeWave directly at 866-399-4930 or newsinfo@freewave.com.

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