On considering hierarchical modulation in the porting process of legacy waveforms to software defined radio
The novel software defined radio (SDR) technology allows taking the next step in the evolution of military tactical communications. SDRs allow military radio operators to change waveforms on-the-fly according to the mission needs. On the one hand, new wideband networking waveforms will offer new services like high data throughputs and mobile ad-hoc networking capabilities. On the other hand, legacy waveforms will ensure interoperability to legacy equipment in missions where both types of radios are deployed at the same time. In this article, we analyze if an added value can be provided to the operators at SDRs hosting an 'enhanced' legacy waveform. This enhancement shall be introduced such that interoperability to the legacy equipment is still guaranteed. The modern concept of hierarchical modulation allows fulfilling this side constraint. While the legacy waveform acts as base-layer, some enhancement-layers offer extra bit budget to transmit additional information. Thi s spare bit budget can be exploited to increase the data rate (i.e. throughput), the error robustness (and with this communication range), or both.