Washington, DC played host to the 48th annual Association of Old Crows (AOC) Symposium and Convention, which took place november 13-16 at the Marriot Wardman Park Hotel. The event featured several keynote addresses, a strong collection of technical talks, and over 100 exhibition booths; the latter were populated by companies with products, services, and technologies suitable for the worlds of electronic warfare (EW), electronic intelligence (ELINT), signal intelligence (SIGINT), and radar. And the thousand-strong attendees to the exhibition floor kept folks busy at their booths.

Exhibitors at the AOC included some of the leading names in test, including Agilent Technologies, Anritsu, and Rohde & Schwarz. Agilent, for example, showed the latest version of its high-performance PXA signal analyzer, tailored for intelligence gathering and signal analysis. Available with as much as 900 MHz intermediate-frequency (IF) bandwidth, the analyzer can serve as a broadband frequency downconverter to analyze wideband communications signals as well as radar pulses. In a system configuration, the PXA translated a received signal to an IF which is then transferred to an infiniium 9000 or 90000 series oscilloscope with 89600 vector-signal- analyzer (VSA) software for analysis. PXA models are available for frequency coverage from 3 Hz to 50 GHz to cover a wide range of applications.

ANRITSU demonstrated a cost-effective radar-cross-section (RCS) measurement system at their exhibition booth, also offering supporting documentation written by Martin Grace on how to perform the measurements with Anritsu equipment. Measurements were made using a portable VNA Master vector network analyzer (VNA), with measurements chosen to correspond to the radar frequency band of 8.2 to 12.4 GHz. an RCS standard of known dimensions was used as part of the calibration process for the portable VNA. (For more details on this approach, don't miss the upcoming January 2012 issue of Defense Electronics.)

ROHDE & SCHWARZ demonstrated the operation of their R&S EsMD wideband monitoring receiver for fast spectrum monitoring with fine resolution bandwidths of signals from 9 kHz to 26.5 GHz. The receiver can accommodate real-time bandwidths to 20 MHz (optionally to 80 MHz) and execute RF scan rates to 100 GHz/s. It can scan across user-defined frequency ranges or given frequency range with fixed channel spacing. The receiver is also available with a direction-finding (DF) upgrade kit and can perform signal analysis with classification, demodulation, and decoding of digitally modulated signals as an option. It offers a variety of standard interfaces for system integration and an 8.4-in. XGA display screen with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution.

RT LOGIC showed its elegant model T400CS Channel Simulator. This is a unit based on high-speed data converters and digital signal processors (DSPs) that can emulate the effects that signals undergo in terms of Doppler shifts, fading, and other characteteristics during normal operation. it is available with optional downconverters to handle input frequencies from UHF through 12.75 GHz; it is also available with optional upconverters, producing output frequencies from UHF thorugh Ku-band frequencies from 13.75 through 14.50 GHz. The T400CS can process an instantaneous bandwidth of 40 or 85 MHz and control a phase-continuous signal Doppler shift of 0 500 kHz with 1-Hz resolution and a phase-continuous carrier Doppler shift of 0 20/42.5 MHz with 1-Hz resolution. It can also control phase-continuous range delays of 3 s to 1.25 s (with the 85-MHz bandwidth) or 2.50 s (with the 40-MHz bandwidth) with 1-ns resolution. It can generate a wide range of signal types, including with delays, modulation, and with the effects of different filters.

CAP WIRELESS arrived with several examples of their Spatium solid-state power amplifier (PA) technology in tow. These amplifiers combine the individual outputs of large numbers of MMIC amplifiers by means of spatial-combining techniques to achieve vacuum-tube-like output power levels.

EM RESEARCH detailed a millimeter-wave frequency synthesizer measuring just 5.0 x 2.5 x 1.25 in. Designed for outputs from 39.500 to 39.600 GHz, it tunes in 100-hz steps while locked to a 10-MHz external reference oscillator. the frequency synthesizer, which draws 600 mA from a +12-VDC supply, delivers +18 dBm output power. It achieves phase noise of better than -84 dBc/Hz offset 10 khz from the carrier and better than -91 dBc/Hz offset 100 kHz from the carrier.

MICRO LAMBDA WIRELESS was at the AOC exhibition with samples of its YIG-tuned oscillators and YIG-based frequency synthesizers, including the MLSP Series frequency synthesizers, with 1-kHz frequency resolution from 600 MHz to 20 GHz. Measuring only 5 x 3 x 1 in., these compact synthesizers achieve output levels from +8 to +13 dBm and can be controlled by serial or Universal Serial Bus (USB) control.

Millimeter-wave specialist MILITECH was also at AOC with several of its high-frequency components, including its line of universal frequency downconverters. Designed to translate signals from 18 to 40 GHz to lower-frequency signals from 3 to 15 GHz, they handle input signals to 0 dBm. They operate with an internal 10-MHz reference source with phase noise of -115 dBc/Hz offset 100 Hz from the carrier and -148 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from the carrier, and can also run with an external reference source.

Another firm at AOC with frequency synthesizers was ELCOM TECHNOLOGIES, which displayed its RS-WMFS Series frequency synthesizers. Available in bands as wide as 6 GHz from 1 to 23 GHz, these compact hermetic frequency synthesizers are ideal for flight testers, radar systems, and satellite communications (satcom) systems. They feature output levels from +11 to +16 dBm with tuning speed of less than 0.8 ms (and 250 s as an option). The signal sources exhibit phase noise of typically -80 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from a 10-GHz carrier.

One of the many products on show at the MITEQ booth was an X-band solid-state power amplifier with block upconverter option. Ideal for satcom uplink applications, the amplifier modules are based on GaAs FET technology and can support transmit frequencies from 7.9 to 8.4 GHz with 70 W output power at 1-dB compression. The amplifiers with integral block upconverters can handle IF input signals from 950 to 1450 MHz and deliver phase-noise performance superior to the requirements of MIL-STD-188-164B. The rugged 50-Ω units provide 70-dB minimum gain at room temperature and can work with input power levels to +15 dBm without damage.

CRANE AEROSPACE & ELECTRONICS displayed the capabilities of its many component groups, including Multi-Mix Microtechnology from its Merrimac group, the former Merrimac Industries. The use of multilayer technology allows the integration of active and passive components into a surface structure that is a fraction the size of hybrid microwave circuits, and with frequency coverage that extends well beyond 26 GHz.

PHASE MATRIX showed a sampling of its many frequency synthesizers at the AOC, including its FSW-0010 sources for applications from 0.5 to 10.0 GHz and its FSW-0020 synthesizers for use from 0.5 to 20.0 GHz. The synthesizers offer frequency resolution as fine as 0.001 Hz. Both are supplied with standard switching speed of 1 ms, but with faster switching speeds of 100 or 200 s as options. The lower-frequency model FSW-0010 can provide as much as +15 dBm output power across its range with 2 dB typical power accuracy. It features a power control range of -25 to +15 dBm with typical harmonics of -45 dBc and typical nonharmonic spurious levels of -75 dBc. The phase noise is typically -89 dBc/Hz offset 100 Hz from a 5-GHz carrier and -128 dBc/ Hz offset 10 kHz from the same carrier. For the higher-frequency model FSW-0020, the output power is typically +13 dB with 2 dB typical power accuracy, and it offers a power control range of -10 to +13 dBm. Harmonics are typically -35 dBc while nonharmonic spurious levels are typically -70 dBc. The phase noise for the FSW- 0020 is typically -83 dBc/Hz offset 100 Hz from a 10-GHz carrier and -122 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from the same carrier. Each synthesizer measures 5 x 7 x 1 in. and weigh 2.5 lbs.