Five Critical Questions to Ask When Selecting Fixed-Frequency Sources for Digitally Reprogrammable Multifunction AESA Systems

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  • Author: Michael Glass, William Walsh

Today’s Multifunction Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) systems are engineered and manufactured to simultaneously perform different operations, such as radar, electronic warfare (EW), and communications functions. One of the most critical elements of digitally reprogrammable multifunction AESA systems are the fixed-frequency sources. In short, fixed-frequency sources take one or more precise timing reference signals as inputs, then convert and synchronize the timing references within critical AESA systems. The phase noise, stability, spectral purity, and jitter of fixed-frequency sources influences the range, resolution, and accuracy of digitally reprogrammable multifunction AESA systems. To help RF engineers make the right selection, we’ve outlined our top five questions to ask and key factors to consider when selecting fixed-frequency sources for digitally reprogrammable multifunction AESA systems.

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