Pentek Introduces Compact and Rugged RF Spectrum Recording Solution

Pentek has introduced a new high-performance small form factor (SFF) recorder product line for extreme operating environments. The Talon RTX 25xx Series are SWaP (size, weight and power) optimized, rugged sealed ½ ATR recorders that are available with multiple input options and can hold up to 30.7 TB of removable SSD storage. These SFF recorders provide real-time streaming data rates of up to 4 GB/s for ultra-wide bandwidth RF or high-speed recording.

While real-time recording of a GHz or more of RF bandwidth is commonly available in 19" rack-mountable systems, shrinking this capability into a form factor suitable for UAVs, aircraft pods or other confined spaces has proven challenging for the industry. The Pentek 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°C 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 can be 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, minimizing 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 drive pack holds up to 30.7 TB of solid state data storage capacity and supports RAID levels 0, 5 or 6. 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 RTX 2586 has Multichannel RF/IF: Up to four 200 MHz 16-bit A/Ds can capture up to 80 MHz of RF/IF signal bandwidth per channel with excellent dynamic range. It can sample RF/IF signals up to 700 MHz and provides integrated digital down-converters with selectable decimation to 64k. Playback via 800 MHz 16-bit D/As with matching digital up-conversion and interpolation is available.

The RTX 2589 has an Ultra Wideband RF/IF: A 3.6 GHz 12-bit A/D provides extremely wideband RF/IF signal capture. With direct sampling, users can record over 1.5 GHz of baseband bandwidth. It can also be configured as two 1.8 GHz 12-bit A/Ds. Integrated digital down-converters let users "zoom in" on signals at selected tuning frequencies. Selectable sampling rates, DDC decimations and packing modes allow users to exploit the 4 GB/s 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 analyzer, 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.

The Talon SFF recorders offer an optional GPS receiver for precise time and position stamping. Additional QuickPac drive packs with 3.8 to 30.7 TB are available. Computer I/O on all models includes Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, RS-232 and HDMI. Pentek's SystemFlow Simulator provides a "test drive" of the SystemFlow recording software installed on all Talon recording systems. The simulator allows users to operate the standard GUI and the SystemFlow API.

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