Pentek Updates SystemFlow Real-Time Recording Software

Pentek, Inc., a pioneer in VME board-level technology, released the newest version of its SystemFlow real-time recording and development software for the Pentek family of RTS systems. SystemFlow software provides a rich set of features for controlling data-acquisition and recording functions and ensures a consistent look-and-feel for developers across all RTS systems. RTS systems are flexible and deployable real-time recording systems for acquiring, processing and analyzing signals and are ideal for high-performance radar, wireless, military communications, SIGINT telecom and satcom applications.

New to the Model 4990 SystemFlow software suite are a File Manager that simplifies file and data management and a Signal Viewer with enhanced display and analysis functions. In addition, the RTS systems now support both RAID and JBOD Fibre Channel disk arrays, boosting real-time recording capacity to 6 terabytes and higher. The new graphical user interface (GUI), now written entirely in Java development language, broadens host software support from Windows systems to new host platforms, including the Linux platform. Complete application programming interfaces (APIs) for both the host and target boost productivity for custom development at a much higher level. Finally, engineers receive full source code so they can customize all acquisition, recording and display functions.

“Our RTS Recording Systems help eliminate the time and risks associated with new technology systems development. With increasing pressure in both defense and commercial arenas to get to market first, today’s systems engineers are looking for off-the-shelf systems with higher levels of integration,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc. “What sets the Pentek RTS recording systems apart from the rest is the well engineered, fully integrated software suite optimized for each system. This wide range of tools, from high-level APIs to low-level source code, provides the extra flexibility engineers need to tackle even the toughest applications,” he added.

File Manager Simplifies Data Management
The new File Manager saves each recording session as an individual file, with critical parameters automatically stored in each file header. Parameters include channel identifiers, time stamping, file length, data format and user fields. This fast and convenient way to annotate files simplifies scripts for processing or analyzing data in popular tools such as MATLAB.

Enhanced Signal Viewing, Analysis and Storage
The GUI presents a virtual instrument control panel to simplify all system operations with pushbutton controls and hardware-parameter entry windows. The enhanced Signal Viewer now provides simultaneous viewing of live or recorded signals in both time and frequency domains. Also added are essential signal-analysis tools for measuring Signal Including Noise and Distortion (SINAD), second and third harmonics, and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). Spectral averaging improves detection of weak signals, and annotated cursors allow users to explore points of interest in the signal.

Additional GUI functions include channel allocation for the connected Fibre Channel RAID or JBOD disk arrays, continuous display of recording and system status, and file transfers to the host for processing, analysis and archiving. The newly supported RAID devices can now stream data at the same high-speed rates as JBOD, but with the additional advantages of lowering costs, providing inherent fault tolerance and raising data storage capacities from approximately 0.5 to 6 terabytes.

Real-Time and Host System Development
The real-time acquisition hardware and Fibre Channel disks are controlled by an application written in eCos, a license-free real-time operating system. Supported by an API, low level libraries, full C source code and a complete open-source development environment, this application can be easily customized to configure the RTS subsystem interfaces and operation to fit specific applications. Likewise, host-platform applications for the GUI and Signal Viewer are supplied with source code and an API to simplify integration of the RTS subsystem into larger host applications or for custom operator interfaces.

Flexible and Deployable RTS Recording Systems
Pentek fulfills the diverse needs of its users by offering out-of-the box, scalable real-time recording systems. Currently there are three solutions, including the RTS2501 105 MHz A/D Real-Time Signal Processor & Recorder, the RTS2503 215 MHz A/D Real-Time Signal Processor & Recorder and the RTS2504 Multiband Transceiver Record/Playback System. Each is housed in a single 6U VMEbus chassis. Future systems are planned, and they will also be compatible with the new SystemFlow software.

The receive section of these recording systems integrates recently introduced high-speed A/D converters, FPGAs and signal processors, enabling the design engineer to take advantage of the latest technology for signal processing. The transmit section in the RTS2504 is equipped with interpolation filters, a digital upconverter and two 16-bit D/A converters. Drawing data from the disk array or other I/O, the upconverter mode supports frequency translation of baseband signals to IF frequencies as high as 160 MHz, delivering either real or I/Q analog outputs. For baseband applications, two independent playback channels are interpolated and then delivered to the D/A converters at sampling rates up to 500 MHz.

Pricing and Availability
Pricing for the RTS systems starts at $26,995 USD, and the Model 4990 SystemFlow software costs an additional $8,500 USD. These solutions are available immediately, and delivery is 10 to 12 weeks ARO.

About Pentek
Pentek develops, manufactures and markets innovative DSP systems to original equipment manufacturers, distributors and value-added resellers. Pentek offers powerful VME, VXS, PMC, XMC, cPCI and PCI boards for data acquisition, software radio and digital signal processing featuring Texas Instruments C6000 DSPs, Freescale G4 PowerPCs and Xilinx FPGAs. Pentek’s I/O includes A/Ds, D/As, FPGAs, digital up/down converters and more. Pentek equips all products with high-performance I/O including Gigabit serial interfaces and offers strong DSP software support.

Pentek, GateFlow, SystemFlow and RTS are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pentek, Inc.

North American Sales Contact: Mario Schiavone, Pentek, Inc., One Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458-2311; Telephone 201-818-5900, ext. 770; Fax 201-818-5904; Email International Sales Contacts: Elexo in France 0141221023, VSystems Electronic GmbH in Germany at 892737630, VSystems s.r.l. in Italy at 0119661319, VSystems AB in Sweden at 84441550, VSystems UK at 1494476000, Sela Electronic Systems in Israel at 36479969, MISH International in Japan at 425387650, Beijing BetaOne Sysjob Ltd. in China at 1082784106 and Acetronix Co. Ltd. in Korea at 24202343.