Pentek Challenges SWaP Constraints with Rugged Small Form Factor Sentinel 26 GHz RF Recorder

  • Ideal for SIGINT, COMINT and ELINT applications
  • Automatically tune, detect and record signals of interest from 1GHz to 26 GHz
  • Capture instantaneous RF signal bandwidths up to 500 MHz
  • ½ ATR chassis with front panel hot-swappable storage
  • Removable SSD QuickPac drive pack holds up to 61 TB of data

Pentek, Inc. announced a major addition to its popular family of Talon® signal recording and playback systems, the RTX 2684 26 GHz RF Sentinel™ Intelligent Signal Scanning small form factor recorder. The RTX 2684 combines the power of a Pentek Talon Recording System with a 26 GHz RF tuner and Pentek’s Sentinel intelligent signal scanning software, packaged in an extremely rugged, small form factor (SFF) 1/2 ATR chassis. Pentek’s SFF recorders provide the performance of large rackmount recorders in the smallest footprint available in Pentek’s Talon product line.

The Talon RTX 2684 SFF recorder weighs just 23 pounds and is designed for extreme operating environments. Optimized for SWaP (size, weight and power), the rugged sealed ½ ATR recorder is available with up to 61 TB of removable SSD storage. The ½ ATR chassis makes it highly suitable for military, security and government intelligence (SIGINT, COMINT and ELINT) applications that are mobile or very space limited.

“The RTX 2684 Sentinel recorder is a complete antenna to disk solution with RF signals downconverted directly to the A/D converters,” said Rodger Hosking, vice-president of Pentek. “Its 5x reduction in packaging size over the rackmount equivalent, bandwidth performance, and storage capacity all offer huge improvements in addressing challenging SWaP constraints in mobile or space limited platforms.”

A Pentek Model 78141A Jade® transceiver module serves as the data acquisition engine of the Talon RTX 2684. One of its dual 3.2 GS/sec 12-bit A/D converters operates at a sample rate of 2.8 GS/sec. The Model 78141 is coupled to the 500 MHz bandwidth analog IF output signal of a 26 GHz RF tuner front end, delivering excellent dynamic range across its entire spectrum. A digital downconverter (DDC) in the Model 78141 provides frequency zooming for recording signal bandwidths of 500, 250 or 125 MHz.

Sentinel Intelligent Signal Scanning

The RTX 2684 allows SIGINT engineers to scan the RF spectrum from 1 GHz to 26 GHz for signals of interest and monitor or record bandwidths up to 500 MHz wide. A spectral scan

facility allows the user to scan the spectrum, while threshold detection allows the system to automatically lock onto and record signal bands. Scan results are displayed in a waterfall plot and can also be recorded so users can look back at some earlier spectral activity. Once a signal of interest is detected, the real-time recorder can capture and store terabytes of data to disk, allowing users to store data spanning many hours.

Extremely Rugged, Sealed Design

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

The Talon RTX SFF chassis seals the internal electronics from the outside environment by extracting heat through conduction to an air-cooled inner plenum. 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 -40ºC to +50ºC, these recorders can handle most thermal environments, making them ideal for UAV’s, aircraft pods, tight equipment bays, military vehicles and most outdoor environments.

High-Speed Data Storage and Security

Pentek’s QuickPac drive pack is easily removed from the recorder via a set of captive thumb screws on the front panel. Fully sealed with environmental gasketing, QuickPac drive packs can be quickly exchanged to support short down times and extended missions. A companion offload system for the QuickPacs is available so the recorder can be redeployed while the recorded data is transported and reviewed at a ground facility. The QuickPac drive pack holds up to 61 TB of SSD data storage and supports RAID levels 0, 5 or 6.

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