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
Wideband 0.5W MMIC Amplifier The AVM-273HP+ wideband microwave MMIC amplifier covers frequencies from 13 to 26.5 GHz, supporting a wide range of military and commercial applications, including EW and radar, point-to-point radio, DBS, VSAT and more. Manufactured using PHEMT technology, this amplifier is unconditionally stable and provides +27 dBm output power, making it usable as a low-cost driver for high power amplifiers. It delivers 13 dB gain with +/-1 dB gain flatness over its entire frequency range and 43 dB directivity, making it suitable for use as a wideband isolation amplifier or buffer amplifier. Housed in a tiny 5 x 5mm package with excellent repeatability, the AVM-273HP+ runs on a single +5V, 559mA supply.
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RF Upconverter The SGU100A RF upconverter extends the range of the SGS100A vector signal generator from 12.75 to 20 GHz. By combining the two instruments, users can now generate vector signals continuously from 80 MHz to 20 GHz, e.g. for use in test systems in the aerospace and defense sector. Once combined, the two act as a single unit with one I/Q input and one RF output. This combined unit can also be controlled remotely or manually, just like a single instrument. Depending on the configuration, it takes up two height units at ½ 19” width or one height unit at 19” width. The SGU100A and SGS100A together take up considerably less space in the rack than other comparable microwave vector signal generators while still offering outstanding performance. For example, the error vector magnitude (EVM) for a 20 Mysym/s QPSK signal is 0.5 percent at an RF frequency of 14 GHz. Above 12 GHz, these two units feature an I/Q modulation bandwidth of 2 GHz. This provides an ideal solution for wideband applications such as those used in satellite communications or radar tests requiring extremely short pulses.
Rohde & Schwarz
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Ultra-Compact GaN SSPA Model DM-SC50-01 is an ultra-compact broadband amplifier that complements the company’s existing SSPAs in X- and Ku-band. It covers the frequency range of 2 to 6 GHz, offers up to 100W peak power and 50W average power, and can be operated in either pulsed or CW mode. The unit measures only 120 x 100 x 20mm3, excluding the heat sink. The amplifier designs are flexible in layout and architecture, and are fully customizable to meet individual specifications for electrical, mechanical and environmental parameters. They are ideal for use in demanding defense, aerospace and communications applications.
Diamond Microwave
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Low-Loss, Flexible Cables Outperform Semi-Rigid A new range of flexible cable assemblies has been introduced which outperform semi-rigid cable performance. Combining advanced coaxial cable and proprietary VP90™ expanded PTFE (ePTFE) extrusion technologies, the company is able to manufacture highly phase-stable, low-loss interconnect solutions for a wide variety of applications. Coaxial cable sizes range from 16 to 52AWG, with most cables exhibiting insertion losses of less than 1.00 dB per foot with little to no phase change. To achieve this, the company controls every critical manufacturing process, from sophisticated conductor and applied material extrusion to dielectric material integration and semi-automated micro-miniature termination. Its coaxial cable manufacturing is also extremely flexible. Assemblies can be fine-tuned and sized to suit precise specifications for test and measurement, wireless broadband, radar, semiconductor, medical devices, industrial, oil and gas, robotics, satellite, aerospace, defense, and automotive applications. A wide variety of connectors include Type-N, TNC, SMB, SMC, SMA, SMP, SMPM, SSMA, GPO, GPPO, G3PO, MCX and MMCX.
High Speed Interconnects
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GaN Power Amplifier Drivers A new line of GaN drivers has been introduced to provide a complete, front-to-back amplifier solution for applications requiring high levels of gain and output power. These hybrid-based power amplifier drivers are an extension of the company’s broad RF and microwave amplifier product offering, which includes small signal, low noise, and high power output products. These GaN power amplifier drivers are ideal for use in applications including radar, communication transmitters, jamming systems, optical drivers, and medical imaging electronics. Their broadband capabilities and rugged architecture make them ideal for use in harsh environmental or weather conditions, such as communication systems in developing countries or field-deployed military equipment.
API Technologies
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New Mixers in Ultra Compact, Standard Plastic Packaging Three new additions have been made to the company’s portfolio of discrete mixers. These ultra small mixers provide industry leading frequency bandwidth in standard surface mount, plastic packages, enabling system developers to achieve new levels of design versatility and cost efficiency for applications spanning test and measurement, electronic warfare, point-to-point wireless and more. The MAMX-011021 high IP3 mixer covers the 5 to 33 GHz frequency range and DC to 5 GHz IF frequency range. The MAMX-011022 image reject mixer provides image rejection of 18 dB and covers the 5 to 28 GHz RF frequency range and DC to 5 GHz IF frequency range, with conversion loss of 12 dB typical. The MAMX-011023 low noise active mixer covers the 4 to 23 GHz RF frequency range and DC to 8 GHz IF frequency range, and supports conversion gain of 7 dB typical and low power consumption at 3V/15mA.
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New Lines of RF Rotary Joints RF rotary joints are needed wherever RF signals have to be transmitted between stationary and moving parts of a system, commonly used in commercial and military radar, land-mobile-radio communications and anti-missile defense applications. These rotary joints boast a compact design, excellent VSWR, low insertion loss, and minimal variation of RF performance during rotation. The operating frequency ranges from 0 to 18 GHz, depending on the model. This latest release includes four single-channel/single-axis rotary joints that provide the perfect solution for antenna characterization applications such as measuring antenna patterns. This line of single-channel/single-axis rotary joints includes two SMA female units, one PCB to SMA female unit and one 3-hole flange to SMA female unit. There are also three single-channel/multi-axis rotary joints, commonly referred to as “swivels.” This line includes SMA male to female, SMA male to male and SMA female to female configurations.
Fairview Microwave
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Low Noise Amplifier Offers Wideband Performance The CMD206 is a new DC to 50 GHz distributed low noise amplifier in die form. It features a noise figure of less than 3.5 dB, a gain of greater than 11 dB, and an output 1 dB compression point of +12 dBm at 30 GHz. The amplifier requires an all-positive bias of only 4V @ 32mA (drain), 3V (gate). An external drain bias network and input blocking capacitor are required for proper operation. The die offers full passivation for increased reliability and moisture protection. Applications for the CMD206 include microwave radio and VSAT, telecom infrastructure, test instrumentation, military and space, and fiber optics.
Custom MMIC
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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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