DRS Technologies to launch revolutionary RF tuner

Polaris tuner
Polaris tuner

DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica company, announced on Oct. 16 that its signal solutions business has launched Polaris, its newest, smallest and powerful tactical radio frequency tuner.

The Polaris, a multichannel VHF/UHF wideband tuner, is small in size, weight and power, and is well-suited for commercial applications such as identification and geo-location of RF interference and critical capabilities for emerging commercial cognitive radio networks; in addition to spectrum monitoring, signal intelligence technology, direction finding and beam forming applications. Customer beta testing is in progress and production is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2015.

Kerry Rye, director of tactical solutions for DRS’s signal solutions business said, “Initial feedback from our beta-site customers has been positive, and confirms the architectural advantages over other available products within the industry.”

Weighing less than 2.5 pounds, the Polaris, which fits easily in the palm of a hand, is the smallest tuner available for signal intelligence collection. It consumes little power, and its ruggedized casing provides for optimal performance in harsh environments. Able to operate in a wide temperature range, the device, available in analog or digital format, is suitable to withstand the rigors of high-altitude flight in unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Polaris is the next-generation of tactical RF front ends, enhanced from its Nanoceptor predecessor. “We have a long history of setting the standard for small tactical RF tuners,” said Steve Robillard, vice president of business development at DRS’s signal solutions. “The Nanoceptor was the gold standard in ruggedized RF tuners in 2004, and now Polaris will be breaking new ground and raising the bar even higher,” said Robillard. When compared to the Nanoceptor, Polaris is a quarter of the size and has twice the frequency coverage and double the bandwidth at a considerably lower price per channel.