MILCOM hosted global military communications professionals involved in command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) applications taking place in Baltimore this year. The MILCOM 2017 theme was “Military Communications and Innovation: Priorities for the Modern Warfight” and captures the emphasis these days in the military communications world. The competing priorities of speed, security and cost were addressed to ensure success in the cyber domain in the future. There were a variety of well-known speakers on panels and plenary talks along with extensive technical sessions.

In the exhibition, we visited the RF and microwave companies participating and saw the following products and demos in their booths:

dBmdBm was displaying their ACE9600 that builds on the SLE900 by adding payload impairment capability, synchronization of up to 16 channels, 12 tap multipath fading, and 600 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth. The instrument can be configured with 1 to 4 channels. Link impairments include delay, Doppler, attenuation, phase offset, AWGN, frequency hopping, and multipath fading. Payload impairments include IMUX/OMUX emulation (amplitude and delay distortion), amplifier compression effects (AM/AM and AM/PM), phase noise, and spurious signals. Parameters can be set to fixed values in Static mode, or continuously changed in real time in dynamic mode without phase discontinuities.

Greenray was highlighting their yh1485 OCXO designed for radar, instrumentation and military applications that require very low phase noise in order to optimize system sensitivity. It has phase noise below -180 dBc/Hz and excellent stability for reference requirements.  It is packaged in a 1” square hermetic package and uses a supply voltage of +15 or +12 V. Optional reduced acceleration sensitivity (down to 5 x 10E-10/g in worst axis) is also available.

NINational Instruments and Ettus Research were together showing off their software defined radio expertise. Their new USRP 300 family includes up to 4x4 channels per device, 100 MHz bandwidth per channel, frequency range from 10 MHz to 6 GHz, embedded ARM and larger user programmable FPGA. They also had Echo Ridge there who was showing their ER-310 SDR handheld software defined radio that magnetically attaches to a commercial smartphone.

Remcom recently announced a new version of XGtd®, its high frequency antenna analysis software for electrically large platforms.  The update introduces a GPU-accelerated radar cross section model that greatly speeds calculations while delivering exceptional accuracy for very complex geometries. The new model leverages Remcom’s X3D ray tracing technology, which runs on graphics processing units (GPUs) and uses multi-threading to achieve shorter run times.  In addition, the tool boosts accuracy for RCS calculations of tremendously detailed targets, supporting high resolution CAD models with hundreds of thousands of facets.

R&SR&S was discussing co-existence issues with LTE and radar which will be the cover feature of our Nov Government and Military issue in Nov plus GPS/GNSS blocking. The R&S SMBV100A is a versatile general-purpose vector signal generator and a GNSS signal simulator. It can simulate up to 24 satellites in real-time for testing GNSS receivers flexibly, reliably, and cost-efficiently. It supports receiver testing under realistic conditions by offering features such as obscuration simulation and automatic multipath generation. Out of a multitude of possible test scenarios – with predefined or user specific settings.

Statek was featuring their surface mount oscillators such as the HGXO model that operates from 32.768 kHz to 50 MHz with a supply voltage of 1.8 to 5 V. Standard calibration tolerances range from 10 to 100 ppm with frequency stability over temperature ranges of -40 to +85 or -55 to 125 degrees C. These oscillators are very rugged with shock survival up to 10,000 g, .5 ms, ½ sine and vibration survival to 20 g, 10-2000 Hz swept sine.

WolfspeedWolfspeed was highlighting how their GaN-on-SiC RF devices are delivering solutions for modern military communications challenges. Wolfspeed’s RF devices support mobile military communications and counter-IED requirements, specifically in the design and development of more efficient broadband power amplifiers for military wireless communications and electronics warfare (EW) applications. They recently announced the CG2H family of GaN HEMT power transistors with 0.25 µm gate length. The shorter gate length extends the operating frequency to 8 GHz and provides higher gain (1.5 to 2.0 dB) and better efficiency (5 to 10 points) compared to Wolfspeed’s prior generation. They also recently extended their family of 50 V unmatched GaN HEMT RF power devices by adding a 250 W part with a frequency range up to 3 GHz and the highest efficiency of any comparably-rated GaN device available, enabling RF design engineers to use fewer components to design smaller and lighter linear amplifier circuits for commercial and military wireless communications and S-band radar applications.

Here is a link to our photo gallery.