Mercury Systems unveils new, agile converters for EW, ELINT systems

On September 5, Andover, MA-based Mercury Systems, Inc. announced the SpectrumSeries RFT-3200 downconverter and matching RFT-4200 upconverter, the industry’s first broadband frequency conversion products to allow the user to dynamically change the intermediate frequency (IF) on-the-fly. Designed to enable agile electronic warfare (EW) and electronic intelligence (ELINT) systems, these high-performance frequency converters offer customers the ability to dynamically respond to emerging electronic threats while also reducing upgrade costs through improved interoperability.

“Today’s announcement reinforces Mercury’s industry leadership in developing configurable microwave technology capable of intercepting a greater variety of electronic signals of interest,” said Neal Austin, vice president and general manager of Mercury’s Embedded Sensor Processing group. “Deploying EW and ELINT systems with our novel architecture will enable the warfighter to perform real-time system optimization, improving their ability to detect, analyze and mitigate threats while also providing more information to key decision makers on the battlefield.”

Unlike existing frequency converters, Mercury’s customizable converters allow the user to optimize the IF settings for the specific digitizer and mission needs, maximizing storage capacity and sensitivity. For example, for narrow signals of interest the user can reduce the IF bandwidth to minimize the noise and improve the sensitivity, enabling the detection of low-amplitude signals that otherwise might be missed. The higher bandwidth settings are ideal for both efficiently scanning the electromagnetic spectrum for threats as well as processing wideband signals. This bandwidth optimization allows a single microwave converter to perform the same functions as multiple conventional frequency converters, thereby reducing system cost and size. Additionally, by adjusting the IF bandwidth, the converter can be easily paired with other digitizers, reducing total system cost by allowing the same converter to be used through multiple system upgrade cycles.

In addition to a tunable IF, these converters feature RF performance up to 40GHz, excellent phase noise characteristics and phase coherent configurations. A modular design approach enables rapid customization to satisfy specific program needs as well as delivery in multiple form factors including 19-inch rackmount, ruggedized half ATR chassis and benchtop. Additionally, the converters support a complete SCPI-based command set accessible over Ethernet or serial ports.

Source: Mercury Systems