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The VITA Radio Transport standards encapsulate RF data. It emphasizes precise timestamps and rich signal information, and seeks to be a common means of moving custom analog IC logic into COTS digital networks--a kind of virtual SDR. The published standards are not offered freely, save to VITA associates.


  • Context packet -- describes properties of the radio components and antenna
    • DDC: tuning, bandwidth
    • ADC: sample rate, triggering
    • RF tuner: bandwidth, gain, phase lock
    • Antenna: azimuth, angle, polarization, location, altitude, speed, heading
  • Signal packet -- IF/digitized RF/baseband data, ID, timestamp, spectral survey
    • supplied by the DDC
  • VRT information stream combines Context and Signal packets
  • Configuration remained ad hoc in VITA 49, added in VITA 49.2 as Control Packets
    • Uses same fields as Context packets
    • ACKed by controlled devices
    • Can be used to interrogate device properties on demand
    • Can program simple loops and event triggers
    • Very similar to CAN in these regards

Context descriptors

  • 1-D Pointing Angle, ADC Sample Rate, Bandwidth, Frequency, GPS Coordinates, Velocity Vector, Power or Gain Settings, Reference Point, Timestamp, System Latency, 2-D Pointing Angle, Antenna Beamwidth, Noise Figure, Phase, Polarization, Relative Time Stamp, Scan Control, SNR, Waveform Type


  • Signal packets containing waveform and time schedule