Rugged wideband recorder family delivers reduced SWaP

31st July 2018
Source: Pentek Inc
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Rugged wideband recorder family delivers reduced SWaP

It has been announced that Pentek are introducing the Talon RTX 25xx series, a high performance small form factor (SFF) recorder product line for extreme operating environments. Optimised for SWaP (size, weight and power), the rugged sealed ½ ATR recorders are available with multiple input options and can hold up to 30.7tB of removable SSD storage. 

These SFF recorders provide real time streaming data rates of up to four gigabits per second for ultra wide bandwidth RF or high speed recording. 

Chris Tojeira, Recording Systems Director at Pentek, stated: "While real time recording of a gigahertz or more of RF bandwidth is commonly available in 19" rackmountable systems, shrinking this capability into a form factor suitable for UAVs, aircraft pods or other confined spaces has proven challenging for the industry. Our engineering team used years of valuable customer feedback to design a product suitable for almost any environment, while maintaining the real time recording performance of much larger and far less rugged systems."

Engineered to operate in the toughest environments with high levels of shock and vibration, the RTX recorder's chassis keeps all electronics sealed from the external environment. The ½ ATR chassis uses military standard circular connectors for I/O to control RF emissions while protecting the recorder’s electronics from humidity, water, dust, sand and salt fog.

The Talon RTX SFF chassis further seals the internal electronics from the outside environment by extracting heat through conduction to an inner plenum that is air cooled. A thermostat controlled, removable fan pulls air into the front of the chassis, through the plenum and then out the back of the chassis. Only the fan is exposed to the outside environment, assuring all system electronics are protected in the sealed chassis. The inner plenum can be replaced to provide other cooling options, such as liquid or conduction cooling.

Designed to operate from -40 to +60°C, these recorders can handle most thermal environments, making them ideal for UAV’s, aircraft pods, tight equipment bays, military vehicles and most outdoor environments.

Pentek’s QuickPac drive pack is easily removed from the recorder by loosening a set of captive thumb screws on the front panel. An empty QuickPac drive pack can replace a full one, minimising mission down time. A companion offload system for the QuickPac drive pack is available so the recorder can remain in use while the recorded data is transported and reviewed via the offload system at a ground facility. The QuickPac drive pack holds up to 30.7tB of solid state data storage capacity and supports RAID levels zero, five or six.

For secure applications, a separate operating system drive can be removed, allowing users to extract all non-volatile memory from the system in just a few seconds. 

The following recorders are the first to be announced under this new family:

  • RTX 2586 – Multichannel RF/IF: Up to four 200MHz 16-bit A/Ds can capture up to 80MHz of RF/IF signal bandwidth per channel with its dynamic range. It can sample RF/IF signals up to 700MHz and provides integrated digital downconverters with selectable decimation to 64k. Playback via 800MHz 16-bit D/As with matching digital upconversion and interpolation is available.
  •  RTX 2589 – Ultra Wideband RF/IF: A 3.6GHz 12-bit A/D provides extremely wideband RF/IF signal capture. With direct sampling, users can record over 1.5GHz of baseband bandwidth. The RTX 2589 can also be configured as two 1.8GHz 12-bit A/Ds. Integrated digital downconverters let users ‘zoom in’ on signals at selected tuning frequencies. Selectable sampling rates, DDC decimations and packing modes allow users to exploit the four gigabits per second real time recording capability.

Pentek's SystemFlow software interface is integrated into every Talon recorder. The software includes the graphical user interface (GUI) that is used to control the recorder with point and click configuration management, a client/server communication interface, NTFS file system support and an application programming interface (API) for custom user applications and control. Signal analysis tools include a virtual oscilloscope, spectrum analyser, and spectrogram to monitor signals before, during and after data collection. The system can be controlled remotely via the Gigabit Ethernet interface available on one of the MIL STD circular connectors.

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