Leonardo DRS Inc. announced an addition to its popular Vesper family of small, high performance RF monitoring and detection tuners. The smaller Vesper 3U VPX RF receiver is optimized for U.S. military, intelligence agency and commercial customers who require a smaller form factor for spectrum monitoring applications.

The 3U VPX RF receiver offers the same high performance as the larger 6U model, and the various size options enable the scalability customers require to support a variety of missions. All channels can be dynamically configured for flexible applications as mission needs change.

The Vesper product line has provided a significant advancement in RF performance for modular, open-system architecture design.  Developed with over 60 years of DRS’s RF expertise, the family of wideband Vesper tuners can be configured with up to a class-leading 10 RF channels of receive or transmit capability in a single slot 1 in. pitch 6U VPX module, or five RF channels of receive or transmit capability in a single slot 1 in. pitch 3U VPX module.

“Maintaining high performance in a small form factor and a flexible channel count is what our customers are looking for,” said Tina Hochstetler, director of signal solutions sales and marketing for the Leonardo DRS Airborne and Intelligence Systems line of business. “Our engineering continues to be focused on the need to reduce size, weight, power and performance without compromising the dynamic range required for modern surveillance missions in order to maximize space on ever-smaller platforms,” Hochstetler said.

As a front-end to larger system applications, each RF receive or transmit channel can tune from 2 MHz to 6 GHz with 100 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth.  Digital data is timestamped and output via VITA 49 standard for system processing.  Channels within a VPX card or between multiple VPX cards can operate independently or are automatically phase-coherent when tuned to the same frequency, which allows for greater application possibilities.  The low phase noise synthesizers have fast tuning and rapid phase settling.  These features are ideal for geolocation systems performing direction finding or beam forming.

The modular design offers users an advantage over proprietary solutions that hinder upgrades to a system over its lifecycle. “Adherence to modular design approaches for rapid product instantiations, and open standards, was a strong consideration in the design of the Vesper product line. The performance, density, scalability and Open VPX technology greatly simplifies and extends a system’s capability,” said Ian Hill, senior director of signal solutions programs for the Leonardo DRS Airborne and Intelligence Systems line of business.

Built by the signal solutions product line of the DRS Airborne and Intelligence Systems line of business, the Vesper systems are a leader in RF design for size, weight, power and performance, and with its high-signal fidelity and low spurious content, users can be confident they are detecting and analyzing genuine signals.