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 0603/0805 QPL RF Chip Inductors with Tin/Lead Solder Terminations The MLRF0603 and MLRF0805 series of RF surface mount wirewound coil, ceramic core chip inductors with tin/lead terminations have recently qualified to the military’s MIL-PRF-83446 specification. These are the first series in the industry to attain Qualified Product List (QPL) status for this particular DoD specification. Tin/lead solder terminations are necessary for processes where reflow soldering is the component assembly method. In such situations, gold terminations require additional processing to pre-tin the terminations prior to assembly in order to prevent gold embrittlement. The tin/lead terminated QPL inductors provide an effective time-saving, solder-friendly solution. They are designed for RF applications in military, aerospace and defense communities. This includes use in communication, guidance and security applications, as well as in radar, test & evaluation and special mission applications. These series can also be used in other high frequency applications around the world where the rigorous testing associated with these QPL-approved inductors makes them desirable for high reliability (hi-rel) designs, or wherever QPLapproval provides additional assurance of performance and reliability.
Gowanda Electronics
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Surface Mount Bandpass Filter BPF-A76+ is a surface mount bandpass filter that covers the 74 to 77 MHz frequency range with good VSWR (1.3:1 typ @ passband), high rejection, operating temperature range from -40 to +85ºC, a shielded case (case style HQ1157), aqueous washable. Storage temperature is -55 to +100ºC and RF power input is 0.5W at 25ºC. Applications include military communications, harmonic rejection and transmitters/receivers.
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Microwave Power Module The dB-3758 is an integrated pulse Microwave Power Module (MPM) operating in the X-band, providing 1000W peak output power at a duty cycle of 6%. The RF signal path consists of a solid PIN diode modulator, solid state driver amplifier and a mini-TWT. The high-voltage power supply (HVPS) section uses modular architecture and low-noise power supply topology utilizing high-efficiency solid–state power conversion circuits. A highly stable, solid–state modulator is used for TWT grid modulation. Synchronization of power supply switching frequency with a radar system clock and blanking during the pulse are two unique techniques used in this unit to make this suitable for extremely low phase noise radar transmitter applications. The dB-3758 has several additional features such as VSWR protection, remote interface with RS-422 and integrated forced air cooling. This MPM is designed to meet military airborne environments and has been used in military manned and unmanned platforms.
DB Control
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MINI-SMT™ Fast Tuning Bandpass Filters The new line of MINI-SMT tunable bandpass filters features tuning range options available from 700 to 3000 MHz in multiple frequency bands. These filters use PIN diodes to deliver high filter performance while fitting in a low-profile package measuring 1.5 x 1.5 x 0.25”. The MINI-SMT Series combines SMT capability with +30 dBm in band and +36 dBm out of band RF power handling, +40 dBm IIP3, low insertion loss (4 dB in a 5% filter), good selectivity (20 dB @ +/-10%), and fast tune time (4 µs). Parallel or serial digital interface can be selected by a mode pin. These fast tuning bandpass filters are commonly used in military communication and radar systems, SATCOM and test and measurement applications.
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New Families of Hi-Rel Electro-mechanical Relay Switches A new family of in-stock hi-rel electromechanical relay switches has designs that range from 2 to 10 million life cycles, making them uniquely qualified for applications including defense and commercial aviation, semiconductor manufacturing, communications, radar, SATCOM, test instrumentation, medical devices and many others. This latest release of hi-rel RF switches consists of 42 unique designs which include 38 connectorized models as well as 4 surface-mount designs that boast a small footprint and lower cost than traditional connectorized packages. A unique patented design of the actuator and transmission link has been optimized for magnetic efficiency and mechanical rigidity, which guarantees operation up to 10 million life cycles with excellent repeatability. The rugged MIL-STD-202 qualified construction of each RF relay switch is designed to withstand exposure to sine and random vibration and shock. New coaxial electromechanical switches are available in package styles using SMA and N Type connectors and include varieties from SPDT (Single Pole Double Throw) through SP12T (Single Pole 12 Throw).
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Micro Sized Power Amplifier for Drones, UAV and UGV The new HSP1 Series 0.8 cubic inch high power amplifiers (HPAs) are designed to be mated with the company’s PMT1 transmitters. The HSP1 module provides up to 2W of output power and can be configured to provide 2 output power levels, including any of 250mW, 500mW, 1W and 2W levels. Power levels are selected by grounding one of the unit’s flying leads. With military telemetry heritage, HSP1 HPAs are designed to withstand harsh environments and are ideal for drones, UAS, UAV, UGV, military and other applications requiring efficient, high quality video/audio/data transmission in a compact, rugged package. Available standard frequencies are UHF, Lower L-band, Upper L-band, S-band, ISM S-band, Full S-band, Lower C-band, Upper C-band, and Full C-band. Custom frequencies are available.
Advanced Microwave Products
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Compact, Directional Coupler Model 106026506, a new directional coupler, offers some of the widest frequency coverage (from 6.0 to 26.5 GHz) using stripline designs on the market. Stripline designs offer superior low insertion loss, high directivity and tight coupling. The new directional coupler lends itself to emerging wireless ultra-broadband designs and many test and measurement applications. These couplers can also be manufactured to meet military specifications. Targeting broadband electronic warfare (EW) systems and complex switch-matrix applications, for example, the company has used its proprietary designs to produce a wide assortment of directional couplers with ultra-high performance over a broadband frequency range. Model 106026506 delivers 6 dB (+/-0.5 dB) of nominal coupling (with respect to output) and frequency sensitivity of +/-0.50 dB. Directivity is >14 dB. The coupler exhibits insertion loss of <1.6 dB across the full frequency range including coupled power. Maximum VSWR at any port is 1.45, input power rating is 20W average and 3kW peak.
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Industry Leading High Power SP3T and SP4T 200W PIN Diode Switches Two high power PIN diode switches have been introduced that boast industry leading linearity in a common anode configuration, operating over the 50 MHz to 1 GHz frequency range. The MASW-011040 and MASW-011041 are designed for military and civilian customers who require higher CW and pulsed power operation for land mobile radio applications. These devices are capable of handling 200W CW incident power at a base plate temperature of 85ºC, delivered in a single 9mm HQFN 20-lead plastic package. Covering 50 MHz to 1 GHz, both devices deliver >40 dB isolation at 1 GHz with insertion loss of <0.5 dB and are compatible with the company’s MADR-010574 PIN diode driver. Both are manufactured using the company’s hybrid manufacturing process featuring high voltage PIN diodes and passive devices and are high power switches ideal for use on land mobile radio and MIL-COM applications that require higher power.
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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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