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
Industry’s Fastest 40V Amplifier The ADA4870 is the industry’s fastest operational amplifier for driving heavy loads at high voltage and high output current, including piezoelectric transducers, PIN diodes, power FETs, coils and CCDs. The 40V amplifier delivers over 1A of output current at more than twice the slew rate (2500V/µs) of competing high output-power amplifiers, enabling applications including higher accuracy, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for medical equipment and higher efficiency envelope tracking solutions in small-cell base stations and military radios. In small-cell base stations and compact military radios, the ADA4870 improves power efficiency and extends battery life by assisting with the drive of the power amplifier’s (PA) low impedance bias control to track the envelope of the RF signal, only using as much power for the PA as is needed to pass the signal.
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New 6-Bit Digital Attenuator A new wideband 6-bit digital attenuator is ideal for broadband applications such as military radar and radio systems, test equipment, and commercial microwave radio and satellite links. The digital attenuator is offered as both bare DIE, MAAD-011021-DIE, and in a 3mm PQFN package, MAAD-011021, and operates from DC to 40 GHz and DC to 30 GHz, respectively. The 6-bit digital attenuator provides up to 31.5 dB of attenuation in 0.5 dB steps with attenuation error typically less than +/-0.5 dB and industry leading phase accuracy of 4º RMS error at 20 GHz. The digital attenuator integrate TTL digital control and is fully matched across the bandwidth of operation, which enables the customer simple and fast implementation.
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Low Loss, High Isolation SPST Switch The CMD204C3 is a DC to 20 GHz single-pole, single-throw (SPST) MMIC switch. Also available in die form (CMD204), the CMD204C3 is the latest control device added by the company to its growing library of standard products. The CMD204C3, at 10 GHz), features a low insertion loss of less than 1 dB, a high isolation of 50 dB, and a 0.1 dB compression point of +25 dBm. At 20 GHz, the insertion loss is 1.2 dB, isolation is 40 dB, and the 0.1 dB compression point is +24 dBm. The unit is terminated on both RF ports and is therefore fully reciprocal. It is controlled by complementary logic levels of 0/-5V, and requires no additional bias supply. Ideal applications for the CMD204C3 include microwave radio and VSAT, telecom infrastructure, test instrumentation, and military end-use.
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Coaxial High Power Amplifier The ZHL-100W-352+ is a Class AB, unconditionally stable amplifier with a frequency range of 3000 to 3500 MHz. It features a ruggedized case, the ability to withstand accidental open or short at output and reverse bias protection for added reliability under difficult conditions. Features include saturated power of 100W typical, wide bandwidth (usable 2800 to 3600 MHz), high gain (50 dB typ.), good gain flatness (+/-1.5 dB typ.), and unconditionally stable. It is self protected against excessive drive, high case temperature, reverse polarity and shorting/unshorting. It can withstand short and open circuit at output while delivering 100W. Applications include wireless communications, military communications, cellular base stations, and radar.
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New Family of Low Noise Amplifiers Fourteen new low noise amplifiers (LNAs) capable of high gain and broadband performance between 9 KHz and 18 GHz, which are widely used across the spectrum of military and commercial applications, have been released. These LNAs provide customers with a choice of noise figures, gain levels, frequency ranges and power outputs, depending on the intended use. The new LNA category exhibits excellent broadband performance from 9 KHz to 18 GHz, noise figures between 0.8 to 3 dB, gain levels from 25 to 50 dB, gain flatness from +/-0.75 to +/-1.25 dB and power output levels (P1dB or Psat) between 10 and 18 dBm. The superior performance of these low noise amplifiers is achieved using a hybrid microwave integrated circuit design and advanced GaAs PHEMT technology. The LNAs are connectorized SMA modules that are unconditionally stable and include built-in voltage regulation, bias sequencing, and reverse bias protection for added reliability. Depending on the intended application of these RF amplifiers, both hermetically sealed and non-hermetically sealed versions are available. The low noise amplifiers are fully matched internally for input and output at 50 ohms, which eliminates the customer’s need for any sensitive external RF tuning components.
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Heatless Crimp Splices An ideal solution when maintenance is required on or near a gas supply, heatless crimp splices are manufactured to provide high quality performance in the harshest operating environments while reducing downtime with a quick and easy installation that uses a positive locking insulator assembly. Since there is no heat required to install, this new type of crimp splice will save considerable labor hours as flammable fuels no longer need to be purged prior to repair, and no special tools are required. Ideal for military and aerospace applications.
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New 1,000W Pulsed Power Amplifiers The company’s line of GaN based power amplifiers now includes designs that operate with output power levels up to 1,000W and frequencies to 18 GHz. These new power amplifiers can serve as a cost-effective replacement for traveling wave tubes (TWT), as the amplifiers’ long life, reduced size and weight offer better efficiencies than their TWT counterparts. They can be used in numerous military and high end commercial applications, including radar, communication transmitters and jamming systems. Designed and manufactured in the United States, they utilize in-house thin and thick film technologies, as well as SMT. The power amplifiers are offered in hermetically sealed packages using mixed SMT and chip-and-wire manufacturing processes. For high frequency applications, waveguide components can be integrated into the floor of the package to reduce combining losses and further increase functionality such as embedded harmonic filtering. Other options for the GaN based power amplifiers include sleep mode, blanking, forward/reverse power detection, discrete power supply designs for wide DC input voltage ranges, as well as microprocessor-based control features for bias optimization, temperature compensation, fault monitoring and customer interferences.
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Solid State Power Amplifier Module Model BME69189-50 is a GaN-based 6 to 18 GHz RF amplifier. This highly integrated design is ideal for use in communication, electronic warfare, and radar transmitter systems where space, cooling and power are limited. Features include ultra wideband operation, high efficiency, full power across the entire bandwidth, and low harmonic distortion. It is compact and lightweight, yet rugged and reliable.
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MMD March 2014

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Current Articles

3-D Printing Boresights Antenna Manufacturing
Additive 3-D manufacturing, that is, making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape based on a model created in a 3-D design tool, is changing the way many products are made and who can make them.

2015 Defense Budget Retains Key Programs
On March 2, President Obama revealed the 2015 federal budget, and although in its present form it has absolutely no chance of being passed by Congress, it does contain what the Pentagon and the administration believe the US needs to maintain its strong military presence throughout the world.

No Country for Old Wart Hogs?
When federal agencies propose budget cuts, trade-offs are inevitable. The latest example comes from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who on February 24 recommended among other things to mothball the venerable fleet of Air Force A-10 “Warthog” close-air-support aircraft and the legendary U-2, while reducing the number of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) from 52 to 32.

3-D Printing: Growing Like a Weed
Only a few years ago, 3-D printing for the masses was essentially unknown outside of laboratories and academia, but that is changing rapidly. In fact, the use of 3-D printing to produce parts for final products is encroaching on 30% of the total number of 3-D printed parts, according to analyst firm Wohlers Associates, which has been following this market closely as long as anyone.

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