Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Installing the Redhawk SDR framework

Redhawk SDR is a new SDR framework, in the vein of GNU Radio Companion and the OSSIE framework, for quickly developing and deploying signal processing algorithms. This U.S. Gov't backed software has extensive support for creating radio flows for a single computer or distributing your SDR processing chain across networked hardware, and has been used in many commercial applications. It will also be incorporating the existing work done under the banner of GNU Radio Companion and OSSIE. See more at www.redhawksdr.org

The first step (or at least the easiest way to get going) is to install CentOS 6.{1-3} x86_64. Redhawk comes in rpm packages, so I am sure other flavors of RedHat Linux could work, but I personally used CentOS 6.3 x86_64 for this tutorial. Of course, some of the difficulties I experienced may be alleviated by a better repository package set like Fedora has.

To install the redhawk software, take the code from the GitHub link below and paste into a bash script, then set executable permissions with chmod +x <scriptname>. I have the latest copy of this posted on my GitHub for Redhawk utilities.

Once this script completes, you should see a folder called redhawkIDE in your home directory. Enter this folder, then type ./eclipse. This should launch the Redhawk IDE, which allows you to create components and blocks to do SDR task.

I am planning to include support for 32bit and 5.x installs of CentOS in the get_redhawk.sh script at some point, but for now only CentOS 6.x 64bit is supported.

Redhawk has begun to integrate GNU Radio components into the framework, which will hopefully bring rtl-sdr support. This should support the E4000 and R820T digitizers, so that we can quickly begin to use the Redhawk SDR environment for some real projects. For now, the only way I can see to get rtl-sdr working with Redhawk is through a nasty hack - make a FIFO and write data from rtl-sdr to that... I will be posting on this in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. A REDHAWK component that supports the 'rtl_tcp' server is available here: https://github.com/Axios-Engineering/acquisition-components