New RF tuners induce the design of signal analyzers for SIGINT

Here is the issue: The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is flying through thickly populated terrain when among its own signal intelligence (SIGINT) systems’ radio-frequency (RF) channels finds an emitter sign of interest to a particular frequency, signaling a possible target. It is not enough to know there is a threat out there. You want to understand the exact place of the threat, and you want to understand it. The challenge is this to geolocate a specific emitter, the SIGINT system should reassign four or three of its RF stations, so that they could — and the first channel — function the interferometry, using TDOA [Time Difference of Arrival] localization methods, that is required to zero in on the possible target.

All this implies that through the geolocation process, these extra channels are not able to keep their very own scan of the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) for different dangers. Because of this, a SIGINT platform should pack in as many RF stations, together with the supporting high-speed and processing network, since the platform’s dimensions, weight, and electricity (SWaP) envelope will allow.

Just a decade ago, that a 6U board could normally only take two RF tuner stations, even though a 3U board was restricted to one station. The fantastic thing is that times have changed. On the side, designers have recently noticed the development of Intel’s Xeon Processor D apparatus. These devices allow a 20-time advancement in compute power in contrast to ten decades back by providing supercomputing amounts of compute power on 3U and 6U VPX boards. (Figure 1)

Now, a similar revolution in greater density RF tuner modules has started. Throughout the new AUSA 2016 series in October, DRS’ Signal Solutions business unit introduced its new Vesper household of multichannel 3U and 6U wideband RF recipients. The 6U Vesper supplies an incredible 9 RF tuner channels in one 6U slot. Their 3U version supports two RF stations. What is more, these RF receivers digitize the incoming analog information directly on the recorder prior to sending it out for processing over 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Author: Kristen Barrett