Ruggedized Software Defined Radio Solutions

Pixus Technologies (Waterloo, Ontario) has developed ruggedized versions of commercial software defined radios. The RX310, the first in the series of small form factor ruggedized devices, utilizes the USRP software defined radios from Ettus Research, a National Instruments brand. The weatherproof enclosure features IP67 sealing for water and dust ingress. It is also designed for MIL-STD-810 for shock/vibration and MIL-STD-461 for EMI. The RX310 contains two extended bandwidth daughterboard slots covering 10 MHz – 6 GHz with up to 160 MHz of baseband bandwidth, dual 1/10 GigE high-speed interfaces, and a large user-programmable Kintex-7 FPGA. The unit is 302mm wide × 400mm long × 98mm tall with conduction-cooled fins for heat dissipation.

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Solid State Power Amplifier Module

Comtech PST (Melville, NY) recently introduced new high-power density solid state RF modules. The Model BME2969-300 solid state power amplifier has a frequency range of 2000 to 6000 MHz; saturated power output (Psat) of 300 Watts; output power into 2.0:1 VSWR of 200 Wats Min; RF input range of -10 to 0 dBm typical; internal DC to DC converters; an operating temperature range of -40 to +70°C baseplate (external heatsink required); and built-in-test.

These integrated designs are suitable for use in communication, electronic warfare, and radar transmitter systems where space, cooling, and power are limited.

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High-Q Capacitors

Passive Plus, Inc. (PPI) (Huntington, NY) now offers a line of hi-Q capacitors available in 5 larger case sizes:

2225 C/P series is .220” × .250” with a value range of 0.5pF – 2700pF and WVDC: 3600V. 38/38 C/P series measures .380” × .380” with a value range of 0.5pF – 5100pF and WVDC: 7200V. 6040 C series measures .600” × .400” with a value range of 1pF – 6800pF and WVDC: 8000V. The 7676 C series measures .760” × .760” with a value range of 1pF – 20000pF and WVDC:8000V. And the 1313 C series measures 1.30” x 1.30” with a value range of 200pF - .12μF and WVDC:10000V.

Specifically produced for high power/high frequency requirements, these products are available in surface mount or leaded configurations that are 100% RoHS compliant and also available in a non-magnetic termination.

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Bubble Pressure Tensiometer Mobile Device

KRÜSS Scientific Instruments, Inc. (Charlotte, NC) has a new solution for the quality control of industrial baths that contain cleaning or wetting agents. The new Bubble Pressure Tensiometer - BPT Mobile is an instrument for determining the surfactant content by investigating the dynamic surface tension (SFT) of a solution. This mobile solution works independently from a computer and provides results within a few seconds.

Whether an industrial bath obtains the required cleaning or wetting effect is dependent on the concentration of free surfactants, which decreases over time due to the contamination of the bath or adsorption on the workpiece. The dynamic SFT reacts very sensitively to changes of the surfactant concentration which then allows the BPT Mobile to make bubble pressure measurements that accurately reflect the bath's quality.

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Flight Crew Safety Testing Data Recorders

DTS (Seal Beach, CA) has been awarded two SBIR contracts to create custom data recorders for NASA and the US Air Force (USAF) that will be used for flight crew safety testing. The DTS test instrumentation will capture impact, speed and rotational forces that crew members may be exposed to during take-off, landing or ejection seat emergencies. The NASA system will be engineered to measure lower-level forces over a longer time period that astronauts may experience during lengthy launch and re-entry periods. The USAF system will be designed to capture high-speed data including head and neck forces that pilots may be subjected to in the case of an emergency ejection exit.

Each system will include six built-in sensors. Due to strict space and weight constraints onboard capsules and planes, the recorders need to be miniature in size and may even be embedded on or in crew helmets. The systems also need to be rugged to withstand intense forces, as well as reliable to deliver the critical test data for analysis. The data will be used to develop new technology such as protective gear, restraints, seating and more to advance crew safety.

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Pico-ITX Single Board Computer

WinSystems (Arlington, TX) announced its Intel E-3800 processor-based computing platform in the Pico-ITX form factor. Measuring a mere 3.9 inches by 2.8 inches (100 mm by 72 mm), the ITX-P-3800 delivers low-power performance, endurance and versatility. The proven design of this rugged single board computer (SBC) accelerates time to market for new products while assuring that they will perform reliably in critical applications for many years – even under harsh operating conditions. Equally important, it gives embedded and industrial IoT designers the flexibility to create unique designs via easy-to-use expansion and configuration settings.

ITX-P-3800 single board computers include dual Ethernet and four USB channels, and accommodate a wide range of DC input power: + 9V to + 36V. They combine powerful Intel E3800 processors with a functional I/O set including four RS-232 serial ports plus a Mini-PCle connector for easy expansion. The smaller header-based connectors allow the SBC to be used within a small box or container.

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Rugged Network Attached Storage with Type 1 Encryption

Curtiss-Wright's Defense Solutions division (Ashburn, VA) announced its new Unattended Network Storage (UNS) system, a rugged network attached storage (NAS) solution that provides Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) encryption to protect critical data-at-rest (DAR) on unmanned deployed platforms. The UNS prevents unauthorized access to classified information in the event that the unattended platform is lost or stolen. It uses a DAR Type-1 encryptor that is planned to be certified for unattended operations of classified data Top Secret and below.

Designed for high-speed data storage, the UNS combines >2GB/s data transfers with 32 TB of encrypted data storage on a rugged Removable Storage Module (RSM). The RSMs ease the transport of data-at-rest between unmanned platforms and base stations for post-mission analysis. The encryptor uses Pre-Placed Keys (PPK) which are filled in Black Key format. The use of symmetric PPKs enables the same key to be loaded onto multiple encryptors so that data can be encrypted onto an RSM in one location for decrypting later at another location.

The UNS's network interfaces include 4 × 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) ports and 8 × 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports. It supports industry-standard network storage protocols (iSCSI, NFS, CIFS, HTTP, and FTP). It also supports remote client booting via Pre-boot Execution (PXE) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) protocols.

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3U VPX ATR Enclosures

LCR Embedded Systems (Norristown, PA) announced the availability of a new family of rugged, highly configurable 3U VPX chassis designed for compact aerospace and UAV applications requiring state-of-the-art power dissipation. This family of chassis is designed for advanced military applications with significant SWaP-C considerations that must operate in hostile environments and require a great deal of processing power.

The enclosures have been qualified to MIL-STD-810 environmental and MIL-STD-461 electromagnetic compatibility requirements, making them suitable for applications that demand significant processing power in the most punishing environments. The heat dissipation needed by high-performance cards is made possible by a variety of options including: hollow enclosure walls with heat exchangers, forced air, and heat pipes. Also available are completely sealed enclosures with internal fans that circulate air within the card cage, preventing “hot spots” and enabling the enclosures to function in highly contaminated environments.

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High-Bandwidth 3U OpenVPX FPGA Board

Annapolis Micro Systems (Annapolis, MD) is now shipping its first 3U OpenVPX COTS FPGA board with 100GbE capability. The WILDSTAR 3XBM 3U OpenVPX FPGA Processor's superior bandwidth and speed is designed to address the most challenging realtime data digitization, processing, and storage applications.

The 3XBM integrates one Xilinx Kintex® UltraScale™ (XCKU115) or Virtex® UltraScale+™ (XCVU5P/XCVU7P) FPGA and a Xilinx Zynq® UltraScale+ MPSoC (XCZU7EV) motherboard controller. The high-performance board also has a WILD FMC+ (WFMC+™) next generation I/O site, for dense, high-bandwidth ADCs and/or DACs. High-bandwidth backplane connectivity is enabled by MULTIGIG RT3 interconnects. The new high-density RT3 is 2.5X faster than existing technology, and enables PCIe Gen-4, 100 Gbps Ethernet, and InfiniBand high-speed bandwidths. The RT3 maintains backwards compatibility with the earlier MULTIGIG RT2.

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Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2019 issue of Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine.

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