What is Spark?
Spark is a realtime modulator software for Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), DRM+ and analog FM/AM radio standards. The software supports all code rates, bandwidths and robustness modes (A, B, C, D, E) published in the DRM standard as well as all mapping schemes, such as Standard Mapping (4, 16 and 64 QAM), Symmetrical Hierarcical Mapping and Mixed Hierarchical Mapping. Additionally, Spark can generate MDI, AM+AMSS, FM+RDS signals and much, much more...
Spark supports xHE-AAC audio encoding for DRM.
You can use Spark...
- as versatile OFDM/FM broadcasting signal generator.
- as DRM multiplex provider to feed your MDI system.
- as an IP to build your custom DRM transmitter.
- to validate and test your receiver.
- for teaching and training.
Please fill out the following form to request a download link of the latest Spark trial version:
Spark serves as DRM/DRM+ content provider and modulator at the same time. Furthermore, Spark supports the Multiplex Distribution Interface (MDI) as a server and as a client. Thus, you can use Spark as content provider for your broadcast equipment or you can use Spark in client mode as MDI modulator at your transmitter site.
With Spark your broadcast solution becomes...
Multi-Standard / Multi-Platform
Spark allowes for broadcasting or receiver testing using one of the different radio standards DRM, DRM+, AM+AMSS and FM+RDS. Spark can be configured to work as a DRM content provider allowing for MDI content streaming as well as standalone MDI to OFDM modulation. Spark was designed to run on Windows, Linux or on a Mac, thus allowing maximum flexibility for your test platform.
The build in automation features in Spark allows for remote-controlled or time-scheduled settings and broadcasts for all radio standards and modes. This makes it possible to automatically test your multistandard receiver with different radio signals using one single test signal source.
Spark is the low-cost entry-level solution for broadcasters and DRM system developers. The software includes the most important broadcasting applications without the need of expensive professional digital radio broadcasting equipment. This makes the software ideal for regional broadcasting, DRM field trials, system evaluation and testing.
Spark provides numerous input and output options and can be used standalone or integrated and customized for your specific needs. Furthermore, the software can be used with external RF devices such as the DiRaGen USB, National Instruments DAQ USB devices and Ettus USRP device. In terms of hardware, Spark is plug and play. All configuration options can be changed, loaded and saved without interruption of the active broadcast.
The user interface (UI) of the Spark transmitter software was designed for maximum user-friendlyness and to be intuitive to use. UI elements are designed with respect to the requirement of the digital radio architecture in order to guide the user through the configuration of the application.
Proven Receiver Compatibility
Spark was tested against all major hardware- and software-based DRM receivers in the market.
- The Fraunhofer Softwareradio software DRM receiver v4.0.4 (MDI and OFDM)
- All receivers based on the Radioscape RS500 module, i.e. the Morphy Richards DRM receiver, the Himalaya 2009, a.s.o.
- The Di-Wave 100 DRM receiver from UniWave
- The Dream software DRM receiver
- The SoDiRa software DRM and DRM+ receiver
- The DIORAMA software DRM receiver
There exist two versions of Spark, a trial version and a licensed version. Although the trial version is quite feature-rich, some important features are only available in the licensed version. The main features of the licensed version are listed below.
Get the Licensed Version
The licensed version of Spark comes with many important broadcast features. It is available for Windows and Linux. Some of the valuable features of the licensed version are:
- No time limitation for broadcasts
- Up to 4 audio or data streams
- xHE-AAC, CELP and HVXC support
- Full DRM text-message support
- GPS synchronization support for the USRP
- Scheduled automatic broadcast controlling
- Redundant automatic clock synchronization over Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers or GPS
- Autostart aborted transmissions after an unexpected shutdown
- Text message reconfiguration during runtime
- Amplitude and phase predistortion of OFDM carriers
- External mixer control (AD9951 DDS) via USB or RS232
Get the Trial Version
Click here to download the trial version. The trial version is only available for Windows. Please fill out the request form to get the free trial version of Spark Modulator (12.01.2015).
(Spark main window)
(Spark output window)