Uncertain Times for DefenseADCs and DACs Penetrate Sacred Ground
By Barry Manz

The impact of converting analog signals to digital form is one of the greatest advances the electronics industry has ever achieved.

Defense News

Northrop Grumman MMICs Speed AEHF Production
Northrop Grumman has fabricated more than 36,000 MMICs covering frequencies from 300 MHz to 300 GHz for the U.S. Air Force's fifth and sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites, speeding production of both spacecraft, according to Space Daily.

Article Highlights China Cruise Missile Threat
While the world focuses on China’s ballistic missiles, the country is rapidly developing advanced capabilities for its cruise missiles, according to The National Interest. This is occurring at the same time the U.S. Navy has limited the type and quantity of its own anti-ship cruise missiles, according to the article.

Iran Claims It Reverse-Engineered RQ-170 UAV
Iran says it has copied announced on Sunday that it has copied an RQ-170 Sentinel UAV that it says the country "commandeered" in 2011, after his allegedly being "brought down by the Iranian Armed Forces' electronic warfare unit" in December 2011, according to Iran's Tasnim News Agency. That Iran captured the UAV is not in doubt: U.S. President Barack Obama asked Iran sent to return it after it was captured.

Israeli Navy Gaining Greater Capabilities
The Israel Navy has begun a program to enhance its sea-to-surface missile capabilities, a senior naval source told The Jerusalem Post, who said that the efforts were part of a planned program to increase the role of the navy in integrated warfare capabilities.

House House to Keep A-10, Other Programs
The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) is opted to fund a broad array of projects and has stated its goal of protecting every possible defense system. For example, the committee left the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter largely intact and up the funding for Boeing's EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.

EW Development Key Element of 2015 Budget
The proposed defense budget may be leaned out but electronic warfare will receive considerable funding as the need for it is growing, according to an interesting story in the LA Times.

Insight into Hypersonic Weapons
An article in The Interpreter published by the Lowy Institute for International Policy contains an interview by Harry Kazianis, a non-resident senior fellow at the China Policy Institute (University of Nottingham) with John Stillion, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) into the workings of hypersonic weapons.

Products for Defense
Solid State Power Amplifier
Model BHE69189-50 is a solid state Class “AB” linear amplifier that operates over the full 6 to 18 GHz frequency band and delivers a minimum of 50W. The amplifier uses the latest GaN technology and is packaged in a standard rack mountable enclosure measuring 19 x 22 x 3.5”. Options include RF detectors, RS232 interface, and an integrated T/R switch.
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Electromechanical Relay Switches
A completely new portfolio of electromechanical relay switches that cover ultra-broadband and millimeter-wave frequencies up to 40 GHz have been released. These high-reliability RF switches are guaranteed to perform up to 2 to 10 million life cycles, which makes them an ideal solution for demanding industries and applications related to defense and commercial aviation, radar, wireless communications, satellite communications, test and measurement, and many others. These coaxial relay switches are available in multiple varieties, from SPDT to SP12T, and are designed with either SMA, Type-N, or 2.92mm depending on the frequency range. Frequencies for these RF switches range from DC to 40 GHz, depending on the model; power ratings range from 5 to 700W; operating voltage ranges from +12 to +30V; and they have high isolation up to 85 dB and low insertion loss of 0.15 dB at 1 GHz. These relay switches have a patented design of the actuator and the transmission link has been optimized for magnetic efficiency and mechanical rigidity, which is what guarantees operation up to 10 million life cycles. The MIL-STD-202 qualified construction is designed to withstand exposure to sine and random vibration and mechanical shock. 42 in-stock designs are offered, which include 38 connectorized models and 4 surface-mount devices, which boast a small footprint and lower cost than traditional connectorized packages.
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Surface Mount Power Splitter/Combiner
The EP2C+ is a MMIC splitter/combiner designed for wideband operation from 1800 to 12500 MHz. This model provides excellent power ratings in a tiny device package (4 x 4 x 1mm), with up to 1.85W power handling (as a splitter) and up to 0.4A DC current handling. Manufactured using GaAs IPD technology, it provides a high level of ESD protection and excellent reliability. Applications include radar, WiMAX, ISM, instrumentation, WLAN, satellite communications, LTE, EW, and SIGINT.
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GaN, GaAs, and LDMOS High Power Amplifiers
A new portfolio of solid state, high power amplifiers are coaxial packaged RF amplifiers that cover UHF, VHF, L, S, and C frequency bands and are widely employed in applications such as electronic warfare, instrumentation, military communications, radar, SATCOM, telecom, data links, medical devices, and many others. This latest release includes 22 models with output power levels greater than 10W that cover broadband frequencies from 150 kHz to 7500 MHz. Solid state 50 ohm hybrid MIC designs use GaN, GaAs, or LDMOS transistor technology that offers high dynamic range and allows gain levels ranging from 40 to 60 dB. The typical gain variation of these amplifiers is +/-1.5 dB. Some amplifier models have output P1dB levels ranging from +10 to +50W, while some devices have output saturated power levels (Psat) ranging from +40 to +50 dBm. All of the high power amplifiers in this product family have single voltage supplies, which are internally regulated. These rugged coaxial packages can withstand environmental conditions like humidity, altitude, shock, and vibration. Each module is designed with stainless steel SMA female connectors. Each SSPA is classified as EAR99.
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Broadband GaN Power Amplifier
The AML218P4013 is a new GaN power amplifier product supplied in a compact, hermetic 3.5 x 1.9 x 0.45” connectorized module housing. Ideal for electronic warfare, radar, and test and measurement applications, the unit provides frequency coverage from 2 to 18 GHz, and delivers 38 dB gain and 20W of saturated output power at 16% PAE. The power amplifier operates from a +32V DC single bias supply and is specified for operation over the -40 to +85ºC military temperature range.
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Silicon SPDT Switch Delivers Fast Settling Time
The HMC1118LP3DE is the first offering in the company’s new RF and microwave control product portfolio to exhibit the inherent advantages of silicon process technology, which offers critical advantages over legacy GaAs RF switches. These advantages include a settling time that is one hundred times faster than GaAs, robust ESD (electrostatic discharge) protection (2000V vs. 250V compared to GaAs), and the ability to extend the switch’s low end frequency one thousand times lower than GaAs while maintaining high linearity. This absorptive, single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) switch is specified for the 9 KHz to 13 GHz frequency band, with high isolation of 48 dB and low insertion loss of 0.6 dB at 8 GHz operation. The HMC1118LP3DE also offers industry-leading RF power handling of 4W in through and 0.5W in hot-switching operating modes. Hot-switching power handling is more than two times better than competitive parts with similar RF bandwidth, which allows engineers to increase allowed RF power in their applications. It is optimized for high isolation and extremely flat transfer characteristics within a wide operating frequency range up to 13 GHz, while maintaining high signal fidelity down to 9 kHz.
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Ultra-Wideband RF Power GaN Transistor
Unprecedented RF PA bandwidth and thermal performance makes this new ultra-wideband RF power GaN transistor ideal for next generation military and civil communications applications. Its new advanced plastic package, the OM-270, is offered in two- and eight-lead configurations. Model MMRF5015N is a 100W, 50V, true CW ultra-wideband GaN transistor ideally suited for high power military and civil communication systems. It boasts a thermal resistance of less than 0.8ºC/W, which represents a >30% improvement over competitive products. The MMRF5015N is sampling now in an evaluation fixture, which demonstrates an unprecedented 200 to 2500 MHz bandwidth with a minimum of 12 dB gain and 40% efficiency over the entire band.
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New GaN LNA Meets Need for High RF Power Survivability
The CMD219C4 is a broadband MMIC low-noise amplifier fabricated in GaN technology that operates from 4 to 8 GHz with a gain of 22.5 dB, a noise figure of 1.0 dB, and an output 1 dB compression point of +17 dBm. In terms of survivability, the CMD219C4 can withstand RF input power levels of up to 5W without permanent damage. The unit is housed in a leadless 4 x 4mm ceramic package. The CMD219C4 is ideally suited for microwave radios and C-band applications where small size and high input power are needed, such as point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radio, military and space, and test instrumentation.
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MMD March 2014

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Current Articles

Cut the Defense Budget? Sure, No Worries
The Obama administration and the President himself have always believed that the Department of Defense is like every other government agency: in tough economic times its budget must be cut like everything other agency.

HF SIGINT: A Return from the Dead?
Winston Churchill’s assessment of Ultra in winning World War II was joined by those of then-General Dwight D. Eisenhower who credited it as “decisive” and later by British intelligence official historian Sir Harry Hinsley, who flatly stated that it shortened the length of the war by “not less than two years and probably by four years.

Digital Technology is Removing the RF-to-Digital Divide
While defense systems are far from the first to realize the benefits of digital technology, they nevertheless obtain extraordinary benefits from it. However, one of greatest challenges remains the transformation of analog signals captured over the air into digital data streams--without using large amounts of intervening RF and microwave hardware.

The CDAA Antenna and the Wullenweber
A CDAA (Figure 1) of which the Wullenweber is a type, consists of a group of omnidirectional antennas symmetrically spaced about the periphery of a circular reflector screen. The location of each antenna with respect to the screen and to the adjacent antenna is such that by using a suitable antenna output scanning system, the array provides high unidirectional gain in all directions of azimuth.

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