Microwave Journal
www.microwavejournal.com/articles/37239-caes-introduces-rapid-tuning-wide-bandwidth-up-down-converter-in-a-compact-single-3u-slice
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CAES Introduces Rapid Tuning, Wide Bandwidth Up/Down Converter in a Compact Single 3U Slice

December 2, 2021

CAES has released the industry’s smallest 0.5 to 18 GHz single-3U-slot wideband up/down converter with integrated local oscillator (LO) and preselection. The high performance frequency converter is designed for the most challenging RF-based electronic warfare (EW) applications, including electronic intelligence and electronic support, surveillance and attack systems. The modular converter conforms to the SOSA technical standard, which facilitates system interoperability and alternate band configurations in small-form-factor embedded computing systems.

“CAES high performance converter building blocks are specifically designed to meet the highly demanding requirements of the industry’s most complex EW and RF applications,” said David Young, chief technology officer, CAES. “Our newest wideband modular converter meets or exceeds the needs of phase-coherent applications that require multi-channel frequency conversion for airborne, ground vehicle and shipborne platforms.”

As part of a RF front-end for EW systems, the CAES 3U wideband converter achieves sub-350 nanosecond tuning, which enables the industry’s fastest threat reaction. With 2 GHz instantaneous bandwidth, the new converter also allows the largest segment view of threats possible in a single look.

The conduction-cooled converter has a VPX/VITA 46 RF payload card that provides one channel up, one channel down and a synthesizer in a single 3U slice. The device’s modular architecture allows up-scaling to a 6U form factor, or down-scaling to smaller form factors, such as VNX/VITA 74. The converter incorporates direct digital synthesis with fixed pickets to provide agile local LO and allows for a future spiral design that supports independently-tuned channels.

Targeting fast-tuning and phase-coherent applications, the SOSA-aligned, 3U wideband converter will be available in the spring of 2022. Key industry-leading benefits and features include:

  • 0.5 to 18 GHz SOSA-aligned, single 3U slot up/down RF converter with integrated LO and preselection
  • Two channels – one up, two down or one up/one down
  • 2 GHz instantaneous bandwidth providing large single view of threats
  • 350 nanosecond tuning enables fast reaction to threats
  • SOSA alignment for interoperability and upgradability
  • Cost-tailored options available based upon performance/power requirements
  • Customer-programmable digitally-controlled attenuators.