DRS Technologies launches new HF digital tuner

DRS 112Arlington, VA-based DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica Company, announced on January 20 the launch of a high-performance digital tuner that is better able to capture weak high-frequency radio waves in mission-critical settings.

The innovative Harrier Multichannel Wideband High-Frequency Digital Tuner design gives users the ability to examine the entire HF spectrum, from 0.5 MHz to 30 MHz, cutting through signal interference and focusing on signals of interest. This high level of performance is achieved by proprietary full-band digitizer that enables dramatic improvements in 2nd and 3rd order intermodulation distortion that significantly increases the spurious-free dynamic range, a capability that is unmatched compared to competing tuners.

With a typical dynamic range of 120 dB, the highest among HF tuners in today’s market, Harrier is ideal for a host of critical HF collection applications. “When capturing a weak or elusive signal is absolutely crucial, Harrier’s high-performance can help to ensure mission success,” says Steve Robillard, Vice President of Business Development at DRS’s Signal Solutions business.

Harrier’s extremely fast digital tuning is ideal for commercial use in environments where there is a need to quickly identify and overcome service disruptions caused by interfering signals. The technology can also be used for government customers in need of identifying hard-to-detect signals.

“We are proud to provide our customers with this innovative technology providing such a high level of HF monitoring,” said Jim Shea, Vice President and General Manager of DRS’s Signal Solutions business. “With uses ranging from ensuring uninterrupted communications between pilots and aircraft controllers to improving the communications of emergency and public safety personnel, operators can now put more of their focus on saving lives,” Shea said.

Housing four wideband channels in a compact 1U half-rack form, Harrier weighs only ten pounds and consumes less than 100 watts of power. With 28 digital down converters (DDCs) across its four channels, Harrier intensively processes signals of interest while discarding unwanted data. Through DDCs, its wide 30 MHz bandwidth is compartmentalized into seven narrow sub-bands of 4.27 MHz per channel in order to manage a vast amount of data and focus on signals of interest.

“DDCs provide the convenience of a narrowband tuner without sacrificing the ability to digitize the entire HF spectrum at once,” said Robillard. Customization of Harrier’s DDC channels offers even greater convenience. Additional DDCs with wider bandwidths or less DDC channels with narrower bandwidths can be added depending on application requirements.

Currently in production are two and four wideband channel variations, with each channel directly digitizing the entire HF spectrum from 0.5 MHz to 30 MHz. The digitized IF of each channel is precision time-stamped, formatted as VITA 49 Radio Transport (VRT) packets and transmitted over a 1-Gig or 10-Gig Ethernet link.

Harrier’s design is an extension to DRS’s Talon VHF/UHF Receiver with each unit sharing the same form factor. When the two units are rack-mounted side by side, this Harrier and Talon combination creates an easily deployed, high-performance digital HF/VHF/UHF capability tuning from 0.5 MHz to 6 GHz. For less pristine environments, the Harrier and Talon are offered in rugged 2U half-rack form factors, complete with internal power supplies intended for high-dust environments typical of field operations.

Source: DRS Technologies, Inc.