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
Off-the-Shelf Connectorized RF Amplifiers The company has significantly expanded its portfolio of connectorized RF amplifiers, including high power amplifiers, hi-rel amplifiers, broadband amplifiers, limiting amplifiers, power amplifiers, low noise amplifiers (LNAs), log amplifiers and gain blocks. Its broad lines of coaxial amplifiers are employed across the entire spectrum of commercial and military applications, including use in radar, electronic warfare (EW), SATCOM, wireless communications, test lab instrumentation, commercial air traffic control, antenna ranges, telecom infrastructure, sensors and many others. Some of the specialty amplifiers offered in the release, such as limiting amplifiers, are used to protect sensitive microwave receivers by “limiting” excessive input power which could potentially create unwanted distortion or even damage the receiver, while the hi-rel amplifiers are either hermetically sealed or constructed to withstand specific military environmental specifications. The new RF amplifiers offer extremely broadband performance depending on the customer’s application requirements. Frequencies across this amplifier line range from DC to 40 GHz, gain levels ranging from 10 to 60 dB, P1dB from 2mW to 100W, noise figures as low as 0.8 dB and gain variation down to +/-0.3 dB. The majority of these RF amplifiers are equipped with SMA female connectors, while certain high frequency models come with 2.92mm female connectors.
Pasternack Enterprises
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PIN Diode Switches A new product family–the MASW-011040/41 PIN diode switches–includes industry leading high power SP3T and SP4T 200W PIN diode switches. They are designed for military and civilian customers who require higher CW and pulsed power operation for land mobile radio applications. These devices feature low insertion loss and industry leading linearity, operating over the 50 MHz to 1 GHz frequency range. They are compatible with the company’s MADR-010574 PIN diode driver.
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Ultra-Broadband Ceramic Capacitors The 01005BB104 and 0201BB104 ultra-broadband 100 nF multilayer ceramic capacitors cover 16 KHz to beyond 65 GHz. The 01005BB104 – the industry’s smallest 100 nF broadband characterized for RF performance – has a case measuring 16 x 8 x 8mm and offers resonant-free RF coupling/DC blocking from 16 KHz (lower 3 dB frequency) to beyond 65 GHz with <1 dB insertion loss and <-15 dB return loss on suitable substrates. It is rated at a DC working voltage (WVDC) of 4.0 and is available in a nickel-tin termination. The 0201BB104 has a case measuring 24 x 12 x 12mm, and offers resonant-free RF coupling/DC blocking from 16 KHz (lower 3 dB frequency) to beyond 65 GHz with <1.3 dB insertion loss and <-15 dB return loss on suitable substrates. Insertion loss to 40 GHz is typically <0.6 dB, with return loss <-20 dB. It is rated at a DC working voltage of 16.0 and is available in nickel-tin and gold terminations.
Passive Plus
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SP4T Non-Reflective Switch The CMD203 is a DC to 20 GHz SP4T non-reflective switch in die form. Featuring low insertion loss of 2.4 dB and high isolation of 39 dB at 10 GHz, the CMD203 offers exceptional switch performance over a broad frequency range, with a switching speed of 66 nS, an input P1dB of +20 dBm, and an input IP3 of +30 dBm. The unit also includes an on-board binary decoder circuit, thereby reducing the number of required logic control lines from four to two. Each single ended control line requires logic levels of 0/-5V. Overall, the CMD203 consumes 4.5mA of DC current. It is ideally suited for applications such as microwave radio and VSAT, telecom infrastructure, test instrumentation, and military end-use.
Custom MMIC
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L-Band RF Power Amplifier Module Now available is the NuPower 13G05A, the next generation of the NuPower™ small, lightweight and high-efficiency power amplifier (PA) family of products. This newest model provides saturated RF power of at least 35W from 800 to 2000 MHz with greater than 40% module efficiency across the frequency band. With a nominal input drive level of 0 dBm, the NuPower 13G05A offers an impressive 45 dB of RF gain. Further, the PA’s aluminum chassis features improved heat dissipation characteristics for higher-temperature operation, and at a compact size of 4.50 x 4.50 x 0.61”, it is small enough for integration into a wide variety of air- or ground-based tactical, test or training platforms. With an impressive size, weight and power (SWaP) profile, the NuPower 13G05A can be used with communications and telemetry systems to provide range extension or with electronic warfare systems for airborne electronic attack (AEA) at low altitudes, including unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
Nuwaves Engineering
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Absorptive SPDT Solid State RF Switch The ZFSWA2-63DR+ is a great general purpose SPDT solid state absorptive RF switch. With its broad frequency range (500 to 6000 MHz), fast 35ns switching time and excellent RF performance, the unit is an excellent choice for many applications. It features very high isolation of 65 dB at 1 GHz and comes in a rugged case with internal hermetically sealed ceramic semiconductor module. Suitable for many environments, it boasts a wide operating temperature range of -55 to +100ºC. The ZFSWA2-63DR+ is excellent for a variety of applications from bench to integrated systems, including high speed testers, automated switching networks, wireless infrastructure, and military.
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Compact Directional Coupler Model 120730 is the latest addition to the company’s line of directional couplers, offering 6 dB of coupling over the frequency range of 7.0 to 12.4 GHz in a single, compact and lightweight package. It is uniquely designed for systems applications where external leveling, precise monitoring, signal mixing or swept transmission and reflection measurements are required. Model 120730 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. It 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. They come with industry-standard 2.4mm SMA female connectors. The compact package measures 1.40 x 0.40 x 0.66” and weighs just 1.0 ounces. Operating temperature is -54 to +85ºC. It can be manufactured to meet rigid military specifications.
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Solid State Power Amplifier Module Model BME69189-50 is a solid state power amplifier module with a frequency range from 6 to 18 GHz and RF power output (P3dB) of 50W typical. 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. This GaN-based unit is both rugged and reliable as well as compact and lightweight.
Comtech PST
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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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