Direct-to-Digital Converter Fits EW and Radar Needs

March 1, 2024
The CAES TORNADO RF direct-to-digital converter enables processing as many as eight EW or radar transmit and receive channels from a compact 3U board platform.

Shrinking electronic-warfare (EW) and radar electronic systems require smaller components throughout, a challenge for compute-intensive devices such as analog-to-digital converters (ADCs). But with the TORNADO converter from CAES, direct sampling of RF/microwave signals is possible in radar and EW assemblies and systems meeting the latest reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements.

These direct-to-digital RF converters support systems with as many as eight transmit and receive channels when paired with the Agilex system-on-chip (SoC) field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) from Intel Corp. in a 3U Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) configuration (see image above)

The CAES TORNADO RF direct-to-digital converter is also ideal for shrinking intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) applications. It's the first RF converter to combine practical device engineering on CAES’s 3U printed circuit board (PCB) with Intel’s powerful RF-series FPGAs.

Dave Young, chief operating officer (CEO) at CAES, said, “We are excited to team up with Intel to bring our customers next-generation, direct-to-digital solutions. There is a growing demand for radar and EW systems that are highly flexible and programable. The TORNADO converter was designed with these requirements in mind.” 

Regarding the teamwork, John Sotir, senior director, military, Aerospace and Government Business Unit, Intel Programmable Solutions Group (PSG), noted, “Intel Agilex 9 Direct RF FPGAs offer a revolutionary step toward delivering and supporting capabilities critical for EW processing, enabling partners like CAES to develop boards for rapid deployment within the Defense Industrial Base to advance EW systems.”

For the high-speed RF converter, he added, “The CAES TORNADO converter is an example of a collaborative effort to bring to market this state-of-the-art technology.” 

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