Test & Measurement

Intelligent signal scanning recorder is portable and rugged

25th October 2016
Alice Matthews

An addition to Pentek's family of Talon signal recording systems has been announced, the RTR 2623 6GHz RF Sentinel Intelligent Signal Scanning portable, rugged recorder. The RTR 2623 combines and exploits the power of a Pentek Talon recording system with a fully integrated 6GHz RF down converter. 

The Sentinel capability adds intelligent signal scanning with real-time signal monitoring and detection that is fully user configurable.

The Talon RTR 2623 is configured in a small footprint portable package measuring 40.0x17.5x33.0cm and weighing 13.6kg. The portable and rugged RTR 2623 recorder is a grab-and-go portable recorder suitable for mobile military, security and government intelligence (SIGINT, COMINT and ELINT) applications. The recorder performs in nearly any mobile platform, even when subject to challenging levels of vibration.

A Pentek Model 78621 Cobalt transceiver module serves as the data acquisition engine of the Talon RTR 2623. Its 200MHz 16-bit A/D converter provides 86dB of spurious-free dynamic range and 74dB of SNR. A Digital DownConverter (DDC) provides frequency zooming for signal bandwidths as low as a few kHz. The Model 78621 is coupled to a 6GHz RF tuner front end with excellent dynamic range across its entire spectrum.

Sentinel intelligent signal scanning
Sentinel users can scan the entire available spectrum or select a region of interest. Selectable-resolution bandwidth allows for the trading of sweep rate for a finer resolution and better dynamic range. RF energy in each band of the scan is detected and presented in a waterfall display. Any RF band can be selected for real-time monitoring or recording. The Sentinel hardware resources are controlled through enhancements to Talon’s SystemFlow software package.

“The RTR 2623 can reliably and intelligently capture massive amounts of signal data in real-time, all within a compact, rugged and highly portable package,” said Rodger Hosking, Vice-President of Pentek. “The deep storage capacity provides hours and hours of data capture and the intuitive user interface outclasses other types of equipment on the market,” he added.

Talon Sentinel recorders are built on a Windows 7 Professional workstation with an Intel Core i7 processor and provide both a GUI (Graphical User Interface) and API (Application Programmer’s Interface) to control the system. Systems are fully supported with Pentek’s SystemFlow software for system control and turn-key operation. SystemFlow software has been enhanced to include intelligent scanning and integrated control of the RF tuner and optional RF upconverter. The software provides a GUI with point-and-click configuration management and can store custom configurations for single-click setup. It also includes a virtual oscilloscope, spectrum analyser and spectrogram to monitor signals before, during and after data collection.

Post processing and analysis software tools like Matlab can be installed directly on the Talon RTR 2623 platform. Data files are recorded to the Windows native NTFS file system, which allows operators immediate access to recordings without the need for any file format conversion.

Key features:

  • Scan and search from 20MHz to 6GHz at 30 GHz/sec scan rate
  • Automatically tune, detect and record signals of interest
  • Capture instantaneous RF signal bandwidths up to 40MHz
  • Portable and rugged system for mobile applications
  • Storage capacities to 30TB

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