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Frequency Converters Power DEUCSI Program

May 11, 2021
Ruggedized block frequency upconverters and downconverters with wide dynamic range through 40 GHz are essential building blocks for airborne EW systems.

Military forces hope to make effective use of commercial communications infrastructure, including emerging 5G wireless cellular networks. In addition, satellite communications (satcom) networks such as low-earth-orbit-satellite (LEOS) systems will be part of the mix, as frequency-conversion specialists CAES announced that they will be partnering with Raytheon Intelligence & Space ( to develop and provide high-density frequency upconversion/downconversion solutions for a U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) program. The block frequency converters (see the figure) will be part of a phased-array antenna system from Raytheon that allows aircraft to communicate with satcom Internet by seamlessly jumping between satellites, part of the Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet (DEUCSI) program. The program includes a flight demonstration of the novel satcom approach scheduled for 2022.

Mike Kahn, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CAES, said: “CAES is excited to be chosen as a key partner for Raytheon’s DEUCSI solution, in what could become a widely used, high-capacity data communications capability for the United States military.” The use of LEOS could enable much faster communications and data rates than possible with current military aircraft communications systems, with the frequency converters providing essential transmit and receive functions with small size, weight, and power consumption. Kahn added: “CAES has a long history of pioneering high performance, narrowband and wideband millimeter wave solutions for military and space applications. In addition, our longstanding design-for-manufacturing expertise allows CAES to automate certain assembly and test functions to meet the most challenging customer design requirements.”

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