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Rugged and light-weight portable RF/IF signal recorder moves to solid state disks

Rugged and light-weight portable RF/IF signal recorder moves to solid state disks

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By Nick Flaherty



The Model RTR 2727A rugged portable recorder targets applications needing to record and reproduce high-bandwidth signals. As a complete PC workstation, the RTR 2727A provides high data capacity and aggregate recording rates of up to 4.0 GB/s in a four-channel system.

The RTR 2727A offers up to sixteen hot-swap solid state drives (SSDs) with a combined capacity to 30.7 TB sustain hours of continuous recording. The system features recording and playback of RF/IF signal frequencies up to 700 MHz with signal bandwidths up to 200 MHz. Available data converters include 500 MHz 12-bit A/Ds or 400 MHz 14-bit A/Ds and 800 MHz 16-bit D/As.

At the heart of the system are the Pentek Cobalt Series Virtex-6 software radio boards featuring A/D and D/A converters, DDCs (digital downconverters), DUCs (digital upconverters), and complementary FPGA IP cores. Optional GPS time and position stamping allows the user to record this critical signal information.

“The RTR 2727A offers nearly ten times the storage capacity of its predecessor in a 25% smaller package. Its SSDs, highly resistant to shock and vibration, and its optional DC power supply support operational environments for aircraft, ships, and vehicles,” said Rodger Hosking, vice-president of Pentek. “This portable instrument is ideal for IF/RF signal recording and playback in radar, communications and other high frequency applications.”

The RTR 2727A is housed in a rugged, lightweight chassis measuring only 16.0” W x 6.9” D x 13.0” H and weighing less than 30 pounds. This extremely portable workstation features 100% aluminum alloy construction, reinforced with shock absorbing rubber corners and an impact-resistant protective glass for the high resolution 17″ LCD monitor.

The hot-swappable SSD array is available in configurations from 1.9 TB to 30.7 TB and supports RAID levels 0, 1, 5, or 6. The SSDs are meticulously qualified by Pentek for optimum use in rugged and portable applications. By using hot swappable solid-state drives, the recorders exhibit high immunity to shock and vibration for ground vehicles, ships and aircraft.

Available I/O includes VGA video, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and dual Gigabit Ethernet connections.

All Talon RTR Portable Recorders are built on a Windows 7 Professional workstation with an Intel Core i7 processor and provide both a GUI (graphical user interface) and API (Application Programmer’s Interface) to control the system. Systems are fully supported with Pentek’s SystemFlow software for system control and turn-key operation. The software provides a GUI with point-and-click configuration management and storage of custom configurations for single-click setup. The software also includes a virtual oscilloscope and signal analyzer to monitor signals before, during and after data collection.

The RTR 2727A offers an optional GPS receiver that allows users to time stamp recordings as well as store GPS position information. Other options include an 18 to 36 VDC power supply and a removable operating system drive. Pentek’s SystemFlow Simulator software package, available for download for free, simulates the SystemFlow recording software, which is installed on all Talon recording systems. The simulator allows users to operate the standard GUI and the SystemFlow API. 

 The Talon RTR 2727A starts at $55,995 USD with delivery in 6-8 weeks

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