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Geon Technologies
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Integrity. Agility. Results.
Integrity. Agility. Results.

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We recently overhauled our Docker-REDHAWK images, and this is the result. Now you can stand up an entire, portable development environment for REDHAWK SDR that is binary-compatible with CentOS 7 -based REDHAWK installations.

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We're continuing on with our series on using Yocto/OpenEmbedded build Linux file systems with REDHAWK pre-installed. For this video, we're changing our target to the Avnet MicroZed. Through this process we address will also address an issue in that build process by updating U-BOOT to use a uEnv.txt file for easier variable changes.

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Here is a quick demo video of our newly-released integration method for using the latest Ettus UHD driver with an existing RPM-based REDHAWK installation in CentOS 6 by way of Docker. In the video, you can see two Docker containers that are standing up REDHAWK USRP_UHD -bearing nodes that each communicate with either an N210 over the network or the new B205mini attached to the host system, directly. The host system is providing the Domain controller and naming services, but other configurations are possible.

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Following up our video demonstrating REDHAWK on the Ettus E310 (, we've decided to create a fun demo utilizing an Amazon Echo to perform command and control of our cognitive radio application.

To start, the REDHAWK Test skill was defined using the Alexa Skills Kit. For now, the skill allows users to launch a waveform, set property values, and release the waveform. Once the interface was defined, a server with a self-signed certificate was set up and given a fully qualified domain name, allowing the Alexa service to reach it.

Once the server was able to receive the Alexa JSON data via an HTTP POST, it was necessary to interface with a REDHAWK domain. Rather than worrying about configuring CORBA to work across the internet, a simplified model of the REDHAWK sandbox was built upon a Tornado HTTP client. This could then be pointed to one of our work computers which was running both REDHAWK and the rest-python server, enabling command and control.

From there, minimal changes were made to the cognitive radio application to allow the configuration to be set with a survey profile, such as "WiFi" or "Zigbee". This enabled setting multiple properties with one Alexa command, as opposed to tediously configuring them one at a time.

Be sure to check out the video!

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Going along with our recent release of the meta-redhawk-sdr layer (which you can find at, we've put together a little demo video showing the newly REDHAWK and FEI 2.0 -enabled E310.  

First, it's the simple things in life like joining the default domain (running remotely), making an FEI allocation, and then viewing the spectrum.  All good things, but surely we have more, right?

Of course!  So we take a moment to show our web UI backend (rest-python) and frontend (Angular-REDHAWK) to demo a much more interesting use case: cognitive radio.  

In this part of the video, we show how waveforms can be hardware agnostic through FEI allocations.  By simply specifying the signal parameters we would like in an allocation, the surveyor app connects to a new data stream, detects signal energy, and begins launching other waveforms to classify that energy.  We then emphasize this separation of hardware and software by on-the-fly changing the parameters to see one piece of hardware deallocate, another allocate, and the surveyor continues categorizing what it can find.


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One of the recurring themes for with with REDHAWK SDR is to have: REDHAWK-on-a-<whatever>. Often this turns into a question of just how well one knows not only the requirements for REDHAWK SDR's core framework, but also just how much support is pre-existing for a given platform. And for the plethora of ARM platforms out there, this can sometimes get dicey because many rely on various versions of BusyBox, which includes its own somewhat-compatible versions of find, for example, that may or may not be exactly compatible with what a given build process is expecting. So even compiling locally on the target can prove difficult even if you have package management!


But there is hope.

As I detailed in a new post (linked here), progress has been made in the OpenEmbedded (OE) community as well as by the folks at Ettus Research and Axios Engineering. And from that progress, a new layer: Meta-REDHAWK-SDR.

Detailed in the link, I take you through using Ettus' own OE -based build system and our new REDHAWK SDR layer to deploy the E310 as a REDHAWK SDR 2.0 Node that presents the onboard tuners as a FrontEnd Interfaces 2.0 (FEI) -compliant Device. And because everyone likes a good shortcut, an SD card image is also provided to help you jumpstart into using an E310 in a REDHAWK SDR Domain.

Does this layer only help out users of the E310? No. The layer can be used with other layers along the Dizzy branches of OE. So for example building for the BeagleBone Black, Raspberry Pi, MicroZed, etc. to stand up an RTL2832U -bearing Node are also possible.

So... Have at it! What do you want to REDHAWK-on-a?

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Waveforms, also called Applications, are a fundamental part of what makes REDHAWK SDR deployments so special.  And version 2.0 just extended that more.  

Join us for this update to the Waveform Usage "Basics" hands-on tutorial covering creating, deploying, and managing waveforms as well as establishing that all-important connection back to hardware.

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The Property Kinds hands-on video series has been updated for REDHAWK 2.0's changes to properties.  Event, Configure, Execparam?  All gone (well, renamed really).

Come and learn the new changes as we explore the ways to use the various kinds of properties in REDHAWK.
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