Curtiss Wright’s Defense Solutions division

RF Tuner/Mission Computer Commands COMINT/ELINT Systems

Dec. 19, 2018
A highly integrated mission computer with multiple-channel receiver optimized for SWaP helps to speed and simplify the development of EW systems.

Electronic agility is often necessary in electronic-warfare (EW) environments, and the latest RF/microwave tuner mission computer from Curtiss-Wright's Defense Solutions division provides the agility needed to stay ahead of emerging EW threats. Based on a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) open architecture, the model MPMC-9323/EWS-DRS mission computer is a multiple-channel tuner system featuring a model SI-9172 Vesper tuner/exciter from Leonardo DRS optimized for size, weight, and power (SWaP).

The compact design of the highly integrated mission computer helps speed system implementations for system integrators while also providing them with a chassis that is small and light enough to meet modern SWaP requirements. The compact system building block is well suited for applications in communications intelligence (COMINT), electronic intelligence (ELINT), and signal intelligence (SIGINT).

The mission computer integrates a three-rack-space (3U) SI-9172 OpenVPX module from Leonardo DRS, a Xilinx Kintex-7 XF07-523 field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA) mezzanine module from Curtiss-Wright, and digital-signal-processing (DSP) engine based on an Intel Xeon D-based CHAMP-XD1 DSP engine. The system provides tuner channels from 2 MHz to 6 GHz with 10-µs tuning speed and 100-MHz intermediate-frequency (IF) passband. It is available with 1 and 10 Gb/s Ethernet and Universal Serial Bus (USB) interfaces meeting MIL-STD-810/MIL-STD-461 requirements.

The mission computer is housed in a compact 3U, two-slot OpenVPX chassis measuring just 10.5 × 5.9 × 7.7 in., weighing 18 lb., and optimized for SWaP. It is also designed to meet or exceed the most demanding thermal requirements. In support of the wide RF/microwave bandwidth, the mission computer is equipped with VITA 67.3 subminiature blind-mate multicoaxial RF backplane connectors.

“We are excited to extend our support for Leonardo DRS embedded RF Tuner technology with the introduction of our new Electronic Warfare System-DRS mission computer, which combines the recently announced SI-9172 Vesper Tuner/Exciter with our best-in-class DSP engine and FPGA processor modules in a compact rugged chassis,” said Lynn Bamford, senior vice president and general manager for Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division. “This pre-integrated COTS mission computer speeds the deployment of cost-effective, proven electronic-warfare solutions to the warfighter.”

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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