Mercury Unveils Echotek Series RF 1800GT Microwave Tuner

Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) introduced the Echotek Series RF 1800GT microwave tuner that sets new benchmarks for low phase noise, fast switching speed, and high dynamic range. An ultra high-performance wideband microwave receiver, the Echotek 1800GT features a direct digital synthesizer, which uncouples tuning speed from phase noise, thereby creating the fastest and highest performance tuner on the market and the ideal fit for signals intelligence and electronic warfare systems.

The Echotek 1800GT is comprised of two single-slot VME modules; the 1800RF radio frequency module and the 1800S synthesizer module. Together, these modules form a microwave downconverter tunable over the entire 0.5 GHz to 18 GHz range, providing both narrowband and wideband outputs. The simultaneous analog outputs of 80 MHz and 500 MHz are centered at 160 MHz and 1 GHz, respectively. The analog outputs are suitable for direct input into an external A/D converter for special signal processing, spectral analysis and pulse parameterization such as the Echotek A/D FPGA digital receiver boards.

Mercury Echotek RF products leverage a direct digital synthesis (DDS) architecture, which offers fast frequency agility as well as the elimination of the tuned frequency overshoot or undershoot typically associated with traditional analog phase-locked loop (PLL) designs. The measured integrated phase noise is <0.5 degrees RMS at 18 GHz. The digital circuits used to implement signal processing functions do not suffer the effects of thermal drift, aging, and component variations associated with their analog counterparts. As a result, no temperature compensation is necessary in the 1800GT, allowing for more repeatable and predictable performance.

The functional separation of RF and synthesizer functions make the Echotek 1800GT equally suited for single-channel and multi-channel phase-coherent systems, including beamforming and phase interferometry for direction-finding. The signal from the outputs can be sent to an A/D conversion system such as the Mercury Echotek ECV4-4-R1500 digital receiver that employs four 1.5-GHz A/D converters, or Echotek ECV4-RFT remote fiber transceiver that employs two 1.5-GHz A/D converters. Once converted to the digital domain, the characteristics of the signals can be analyzed using one of Mercury’s signal processing modules, or modules from another vendor, to form a complete sequence from signal capture at the antenna to signal processing and analysis.

For more information on the Echotek Series RF ADV-1800GT microwave tuner or on Mercury‘s comprehensive offering for defense applications, call Mercury at (866) 627-6951.