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
Slimmed Down 200MS/sec Rugged Portable RF/IF Signal Recorder
The RTR 2726A rugged portable recorder is suitable for wideband signal recording and playback in signal intelligence and RF testing applications. It implements a new packaging scheme that boasts a smaller, lighter chassis. Enhanced capability permits up to eight recording and playback channels configurable with the right combination for a specific mission or application. An optional DC power supply enables use in ground or airborne vehicles without inverters. At the heart of the RTR 2726A are Pentek Cobalt® Series Virtex-6 software radio boards featuring A/D and D/A converters, DDCs (Digital Downconverters), DUCs (Digital Upconverters) and complementary FPGA IP cores. This architecture allows the system engineer to take full advantage of the latest technology in a turnkey system.
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Coaxial Limiters
Models GG77317-04 and GG77317-05 are 100W and 60W broadband coaxial limiters that provide unprecedented CW power handling capability from 10 MHz to 4 GHz and from 10 MHz to 6 GHz, respectively, and are ideal for receiver protection in ECM, EW, radar, and test equipment applications. The GG77317-04 features typical insertion loss of only 0.5 dB and typical VSWR of 1.3:1 from 10 MHz to 3 GHz. The GG77317-05 features typical insertion loss of only 0.7 dB and typical VSWR of 1.8:1 from 10 MHz to 5 GHz. Both devices provide 1000W of peak RF power handling capability and typical recovery times between 1.5 and 2 µseconds. Suitable for customer applications in rugged environments, these PIN-diode based limiters feature SMA female connectors and are designed to meet or exceed the MIL-STD-883 environmental conditions without damage.
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Integrated Solution for Digital Front End Processor Applications
The AFD4400 digital front end (DFE) processor combines the digital components of a cellular base station radio onto a single integrated circuit. Breaking stride with traditional hardwired solutions, the signal processing paths of the AFD4400 execute on an array of vector signal processors. With a combined Vector Signal Processor Accelerator (VSPA) throughput of 1.76 teraflops, the unit easily supports LTE, W-CDMA, CDMA and GSM networks in single and multi-mode configurations with up to 100 MHz of RF bandwidth in four antenna configurations. The flexible, software-based approach allows the device to easily scale from 1 to 8 antennas, while aggressive power management techniques ensure power dissipation dynamically adjusts to changing load conditions. The AFD4400 uses industry standard interfaces to connect with other system components, including common public radio interface (CPRI) for modem links, Ethernet for operations and maintenance links, JESD204B for transceiver interfaces and Antenna Interface Standards Group (AISG) for tower-mounted equipment links. While primarily designed for cellular applications, the AFD4400 is also appropriate for radar, military and commercial broadcast applications.
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Surface Mount Directional Coupler
The SEDC-10-63+ is a surface mount directional coupler featuring 10 dB coupling and a wideband frequency range of 50 to 6000 MHz. Features include flat coupling (+/-0.5 dB typical), high directivity (28 dB typical), operating temperature range from -40 to +85ºC, and storage temperature of -55 to +100ºC. Applications include military defense, and signal monitoring.
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Phase Noise Analyzer and VCO Tester
With the new FSWP phase noise tester, users can measure the spectral purity of signal sources such as generators, synthesizers and voltage controlled oscillators (VCOs) more quickly than with any other solution. The high-end instrument covers a frequency range up to 50 GHz and offers a top dynamic range. The extremely low phase noise of its local oscillator coupled with cross-correlation makes it possible to easily measure signal sources that in the past required complex test setups – or could not be measured at all. Thanks to its fully digital signal processing, the FSWP performs complex measurements at the push of a button and features intuitive touchscreen operation. It can quickly and easily measure the phase noise of pulsed sources as well as residual phase noise under pulsed conditions. It is therefore ideal for both aerospace and defense and automotive applications.
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New 2.6 GHz A/D Converter in High-Reliability Package
The AD9625BBP-2.6 is a 2.6 GHz A/D converter engineered to address the high-bandwidth and dynamic-range needs of aerospace and defense applications. Combining giga-sample-rate speed and 75 dBc spurious-free, dynamic-range (SFDR) performance out to 1.8 GHz Ain, the unit is fully optimized to match the frequency planning and signal sensitivity requirements of advanced electronic surveillance and countermeasure applications, such as radar systems, secure communications networks and electronic signals monitoring. The new converter is available in a tin-lead (SnPb) package that ensures high-reliability operation by eliminating the performance degradation and added cost associated with alternative packaging materials that are susceptible to tin-whiskering.
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Three High-Power Pulsed Wideband TWT Amplifiers
Now available are three high-power, pulsed, power-combined TWT Amplifiers (TWTAs) designed for rugged military applications. The dB-3906 (12kW power output, pulsed, 3% duty cycle, 5.4 to 5.8 GHz), dB-3907 (12kW power output, pulsed, 6% duty cycle, 9 to 10 GHz) and dB-3908 (15kW power output, pulsed, 6% duty cycle, 2.9 to 3.3 GHz) use two wideband periodic permanent magnet (PPM)-focused TWTs to better amplify CW, AM, FM or pulse-modulated signals compared to a single TWT approach. Applications include test and measurement, RFI/EMI/EMC testing, antenna pattern and radar cross-section measurements, electronic countermeasures (ECM) and electronic warfare (EW) simulation.
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Portable Bench Top RF Amplifiers
A new line of portable bench top amplifiers covers extremely wide frequency bands up to 40 GHz. These rugged RF amplifier modules are designed to meet MIL-STD-202F environmental test conditions for humidity, shock, vibration, altitude and temperature cycle, which makes them ideal for use inside high traffic test labs in industries such as aerospace, defense, optical, industrial, telecom and R&D. This latest release includes four models covering multi-octave bandwidths from 1 to 40 GHz and exhibit flat gain response. The new bench top amplifiers offer up to 60 dB small signal gain with high dynamic range, low noise figure of 5 dB, and output P1dB compression power ranges from +10 to +22 dBm. Additionally, these portable and compact amplifiers have an internal AC voltage power supply of 115 to 120VAC @ 60 Hz, an operating temperature range from -40 to +85ºC, and allow a storage temperature of -40 to +100ºC. The 20 GHz modules use SMA female connectors, while the 40 GHz versions utilize 2.92mm connectors.
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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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