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
FEP MIL-Spec Approved Flat-Ribbon Cable Temp-Flex® FEP Flat-Ribbon Cable is the only FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene) solution on the market that meets the MIL-Spec requirement for M49055/11 & M49055/12 for harsh environment applications such as those found in aircraft avionics and industrial equipment. The company offers extruded FEP dielectric insulation material for a high-performance ribbon cable that can withstand exposure to chemicals, extreme temperatures, abrasions and flexure. Temp-Flex FEP Flat-Ribbon Cables are durable in temperatures ranging from -65 to +200ºC and they are resistant to acids, alcohols, aldehydes, bases, esters, hydrocarbons (aliphatic, aromatic and halogenated), ketones and oxidizing agents. An extruded cable encapsulates each conductor with insulation that will not delaminate, while the low-loss dielectric constant (2.1) ensures the optimum signal transmission with minimal loss. The cables can be mass terminated using a conventional Insulation Displacement Termination/Connector (IDT/IDC) technology for efficiency and cost savings. In addition, commercial grade/standard cables are offered in a variety of conductor sizes (16 to 32 AWG), materials (bare copper, silver-plated copper and high-strength alloy) and pitches.
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New 6 to 16 GHz Driver Amplifier The CMD158C4 is a new 6 to 16 GHz driver amplifier that delivers 21 dB of gain across its bandwidth, while providing +21 dBm of saturated output power at a PAE of 24%. The unit operates from a single positive supply voltage of +5.0V @ 95mA. The amplifier is housed in a Pb-free, RoHS-compliant, ceramic 4x4mm QFN surface-mount package. No external components are required for operation except the usual bypass capacitors on the VDD line. Ideal applications for the CMD158C4 include point-to-point and point-to-multipoint radios, VSAT, LO driver amplifiers and military applications.
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Signal Analyzer to Provide Swept and FFT Capabilities in PXI Form The M9290A CXA-m PXIe signal analyzer delivers fully specified performance up to 26.5 GHz and provides specifications in key areas such as sensitivity and dynamic range. The CXA-m supports testing of components, boards and systems in a variety of applications, including military maintenance operations at the intermediate and depot levels (I-level and D-level). Example devices-under-test include radios such as those used in the military, public safety, avionics, radar, electronic warfare and satellites. The rich set of built-in measurement capabilities, including swept and FFT modes in the same instrument, accelerates tasks such as the identification of spurious signals and harmonics. The CXA-m also reduces time and effort in system deployment. It ensures seamless transitions between R&D, manufacturing and maintenance by providing 100% compatibility with code written for the company’s X-Series signal analyzers and ESA spectrum analyzers. Ready-to-use drivers and SCPI commands simplify evaluation and programming. The CXA-m has the same user interface as the X-Series signal analyzers.
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15W GaN on SiC Pulsed Power Transistor The MAGX-000035-015000 and MAGX-000035-01500S are gold-metalized unmatched GaN on Silicon Carbide RF power transistors optimized for a variety of RF power amplifier specifications. The devices provide a typical 17W of peak output power with 15.5 dB of power gain and 63% efficiency. These transistors are assembled using wafer fabrication processes and provide high gain, efficiency, bandwidth and ruggedness over multiple octave bandwidths for today’s demanding application needs. Operating between the DC to 3.5 GHz frequency range, the devices are highly robust transistors with high voltage breakdowns and boast a mean time to failure (MTTF) of 600 years.
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Miniature Surface Mount Limiter RLM-751-2WL+ surface mount limiter covers frequencies from 3 to 750 MHz with input power range from +5 to +33 dBm. This model is ideal for hi-rel military and commercial applications including protecting LNAs and other sensitive devices from ESD or input power damage, stabilizing signal generator outputs, and reducing amplitude variations. It provides low, 8 dBm leakage power, 0.2 dB insertion loss, 1.13 VSWR, and extremely fast recovery time of just 4ns. It also provides excellent delta output versus delta 1 dB input of 0.3 dB/dB within its limiting power range (+12 to +32 dBm). The limiter comes housed in a miniature package measuring 0.25 x 0.31 x 0.16”, making it a space saver for dense PCB layouts.
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TWT Amplifier The dB-3860 is a TWT Amplifier (TWTA) operating in the frequency range of 34.5 to 35.5 GHz, providing 700W minimum peak output power at a duty cycle of up to 10%. A wideband, periodic permanent magnet (PPM)-focused, conduction-cooled TWT is used for power amplification. The power supply topology uses proprietary low-noise, high-efficiency designs to operate the RF signal path. An embedded micro-controller provides the interface, control and protection functions, and status indication for the TWT Amplifier. Standard interface protocol for remote operation is RS-485. Other protocols such as RS-232, RS-422, Ethernet, or custom interfaces are available as options. The TWTA is packaged in a standard 19” rack-mount configuration with an integral forced air cooling system. Applications include radar, T&M, antenna pattern & radar cross-section measurements, and electronic warfare (EW) simulation.
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Compact Directional Coupler Model 181206 is a new directional coupler operating in the frequency range of 12.4 to 18.0 GHz offering nominal coupling of 6 dB in an extremely compact package. It is uniquely designed for systems applications where external leveling, precise monitoring, signal mixing or swept transmission and reflection measurements are required. The coupler provides simple solutions for many applications, including electronic warfare (EW), commercial wireless, SATCOM, radar, signal monitoring and measurement, antenna beam forming, and EMC testing environments. Its compact size makes this directional coupler ideal for many space-restricted applications. Model 181206 delivers 6 dB (+/-0.5 dB) of nominal coupling (with respect to output) and frequency sensitivity of +/-0.30 dB. Directivity is >15 dB. The coupler exhibits insertion loss of <1.9 dB across the full frequency range including coupled power. Maximum VSWR at any port is 1.35, input power rating is 20W average and 3KW peak. Operating temperature range is -54 to +85ºC.
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Extended Values for Traditional High-Q Low ESR Capacitors The company now offers extended values for the traditional NP0, Hi-Q 0505 and 1111 case size. These parts exhibit low ESR/ESL, low noise, high self-resonance, as well as ultra-stable performance over temperature. They are usually used for wireless broadcasting equipment, mobile base stations, GPS, MRI, and radar applications, and and offered in magnetic and non-magnetic terminations. These capacitors are designed and manufactured to meet the requirements for MIL-PRF-55681 and MIL-PRF-123. They are available in two popular case sizes for RF/microwave applications: the 0505 C series and the 1111 C series.
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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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