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
New Family of Broadband RF Amplifiers An expanded offering of broadband RF amplifiers operating in octave bands between 0.5 and 40 GHz with noise figures ranging from 2.5 to 6 db across the entire frequency range has been released. This new broadband amplifier portfolio consists of 18 part numbers to choose from that are commonly employed in a wide spectrum of military and commercial applications including wireless communications, telecom infrastructure, radar, electronic warfare, sensors, test instrumentation, microwave backhaul and many others. These wideband amplifiers feature highly efficient GaAs PHEMT semiconductor technology with 50 ohm hybrid MIC circuits that are enclosed in environmentally sealed metal packages with nickel or gold plating. They have gain levels ranging from 20 to 48 dB, gain flatness as low as +/-0.5 dB and power output ratings (P1dB) from 20mW to 2W. DC voltage supply ranges from +8.5 to +15 Vdc while bias current ranges from 125 to 2500mA. These broadband amplifiers utilize either stainless steel SMA or 2.92mm connectors and some of the modules are hermetically sealed with field replaceable connectors. The 2.92mm connectorized model operates to 40 GHz.
Fairview Microwave
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Microwave Power Module The dB-4127 is a microwave power module (MPM) operating in the frequency range of 6 to 18 GHz. This MPM is a power amplifier that provides 200W pulsed/CW RF output power. The RF signal path consists of a solid state amplifier and a vacuum power booster. The power supply topology uses proprietary low-noise, high-efficiency designs to operate the RF signal path. A high-speed modulator is incorporated for pulse modulation of up to 10 KHz to CW. This compact, conduction-cooled MPM is designed to operate in extreme military environments. Applications include electronic countermeasures (ECM), electronic warfare (EW) simulation, and multi-band communication systems.
DB Control
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New Digital Radio Test Set Combining high performance and portability, the 8800S Digital Radio Test Set features new P25 Phase II test capabilities and 125W direct power handling. The new radio test set is a leap forward in radio test innovation. Designed for bench and field test environments, the 8800S is equipped with the industry’s largest color display and the widest power measurement range featuring RF signal analysis from -140 dBm to 500W. Additionally, the unit offers advanced analog and digital analysis features. The 8800S also provides the industry’s newest, easy to use Auto-Test and Alignment applications. Field test technicians and engineers will benefit from the 8800S’ compact size, 2.5 hour internal battery operation (usable up to 4 hours) and 30G functional shock rating (rated to MIL-PRF-28800F Class 3 operation). Improving upon the popular 8800 platform, the new 8800S now supports direct input power termination up to 125W, eliminating the need for external attenuators and boosting confidence when testing high power transmitters. Featuring VSWR, return loss and distance-to-fault measurements, the 8800S is the most comprehensive test system for both bench and field applications.
Cobham Avcomm
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High Power PIN Diode SP4T Switch The MASW-011040 is a high power PIN diode SP4T switch in a common anode configuration, operating from 50 MHz to 1 GHz. It has low insertion loss and linearity. It includes two high-power ports capable of handling up to 200W CW and two low-power ports capable of handling up to 100W CW of incident power at a base plate temperature of +85ºC. This high power switch is ideal for use on land mobile radio and MIL-COM applications that require higher CW and pulsed power operation. This device can operate with positive-only DC supplies, making it suitable for switch-filter and power amplifier control circuits. It is manufactured using the company’s hybrid manufacturing process featuring high voltage PIN diodes and passive devices integrated in a 9mm HQFN 20-lead plastic package.
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High Power Amplifier Model 2175 is a high power amplifier (HPA) covering 80 to 1000 MHz and delivering 500W of broadband output power in a 3U, air cooled chassis. Offering unrivaled size and power advantages and building on a design architecture that has been a catalyst for technology upgrades from customers with diverse requirements from multiple markets, this MPD provides excellent performance for end applications that include (but are not limited to) test and measurement, electronic warfare, and communications. Features include user selectable configuration and operation in three different modes (AGC, ALC and MGC), enhanced ruggedness using the latest in high voltage RF transistors (LDMOS), fast electronic VSWR protection providing safe and reliable operation during adverse load conditions, and self-protection and diagnostics throughout the system including currents, voltages, forward and reverse power, temperature and VSWR.
EMPower RF Systems
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Compact Directional Coupler The company continues its expansion of its line of directional couplers with a new model offering 6 dB of coupling over the frequency range of 4.0 to 12.4 GHz, in a single, compact and lightweight package. Model 120406 enhances the product line with performance ratings including nominal coupling (with respect to output) of 6 dB, +/-0.5 dB, and frequency sensitivity of +/-0.30 dB. The directional coupler exhibits insertion loss (including coupled power) of less than 1.8 dB, directivity of greater than 15 dB, maximum VSWR (any port) is 1.35, input power rating is 20W average and 3kW peak. The directional couplers come with industry-standard 2.4mm SMA female connectors. Its compact package measures 1.40 x 0.40 x 0.66”, and weighs 1.0 ounces. Operating temperature is -54 to +85ºC. They can be manufactured to meet rigid military specifications.
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High Gain Amplifiers A new portfolio of L- and S-band high gain amplifiers covering 1.2 to 1.4 and 3.1 to 3.5 GHz are designed to be specifically used for commercial and military radar applications as well as observation satellites and communication systems. These high gain amplifier modules are packaged in hermetically-sealed metal enclosures and exhibit outstanding performance in high gain, gain flatness, high output power and low noise. These RF amplifiers utilize a hybrid microwave integrated circuit design and advanced GaAs pHEMT technology to produce an unconditionally stable module. They are also designed with built-in voltage regulation, bias sequencing, and reverse bias protection for added reliability and over-voltage protection is installed externally for easy repair. A total of six new L- and S-band high gain amplifiers are offered in this latest release. Two of those products are low noise amplifiers (LNAs) which demonstrate noise figure performance of 1.1 to 1.5 dB at high gain levels of 40 dB typical gain while also exhibiting excellent gain flatness. Also offered are 10 and 20W high power amplifiers that have exceptional gain performance of 40 to 47 dB with 1.0 to 1.5 dB gain flatness. The company is also releasing an L-band driver amplifier that displays solid gain performance of 47 dB while delivering competitive gain flatness of 1.5 dB.
Pasternack Enterprises
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Ceramic Low Pass Filter The LFCG-92+ is a ceramic low pass filter with pass band rating from DC to 990 MHz. It has low loss (0.4 dB typ.) and is temperature stable, with operating and storage temperature range from -55 to +100ºC. Features include small size 0805 (2.0 x 1.25mm) and LTCC construction. Applications: harmonic rejection, VHF/UHF transmitters/receivers, and lab use.
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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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