Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT


RF signal recorder for beamforming and radar

26 May 2021 Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT

A new addition has been made to the Talon series of recorders from Pentek, the Talon Model RTR 2628 8-channel, phase coherent, 4U 19-inch rackmount recorder with integrated RF tuners and A/D converters. The rugged rackmount system is designed to operate under conditions of vibration and extended operating temperatures. The system accepts signals from eight antennas to provide eight channels of phase-coherent RF signal recording. Each channel is tuneable up to 6 GHz and captures up to 80 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth.

Each input channel includes a 250 MHz, 16-bit A/D and an FPGA-based digital down-converter (DDC) with programmable decimations from 2 to 65536 for instantaneous bandwidths from 80 MHz down to 3 kHz. RF signals up to 6 GHz in frequency can be tuned, sampled, digitally down-converted and streamed to disk in real-time at sustained aggregate recording rates up to 3,2 GBps. RF tuning frequencies, A/D sampling rates, DDC decimations and trigger settings are among the selectable system parameters, providing a system that is flexible yet simple to configure and operate.

The RTR 2628 is configured in a 4U 19-inch rack-mountable chassis, with hot-swap data drives, front panel USB ports and I/O connectors on the rear panel. It is optimised for cooling and ruggedised to operate in challenging environments. Systems are scalable to accommodate multiple chassis to increase phase-coherent channel counts and aggregate data rates. All recorder chassis are connected via Ethernet and can be controlled from a single GUI either locally or from a remote PC.

The RTR 2628 includes as many as 32 hot-swappable SSDs to provide flexible storage capacities up to 122 TB. The 2,5-inch SSDs can be easily removed or exchanged during a mission to retrieve recorded data. Multiple RAID levels, including 0, 5 and 6, provide a choice for the required level of redundancy.

Ease of operation

All Talon recorders are built on a Microsoft Windows platform and include Pentek’s SystemFlow software, featuring a GUI (graphical user interface), Signal Viewer and API (application programming interface). The GUI provides intuitive controls for out-of-the-box turnkey operation using point-and-click configuration management.

Configurations are easily stored and recalled for single-click setup. The Signal Viewer provides a virtual oscilloscope and spectrum analyser to monitor signals before, during and after data collection. The C-callable API allows users to integrate the recorder control as a front end to larger application systems. Enhancements to the GUI support efficient configuration of the recording channels.

The data format used for storage follows the NTFS standard, allowing users to remove drives from the instrument and read the data using standard Windows-based systems, eliminating the need for file format conversion.

Free demo

Pentek provides a Talon Recording System Simulator for evaluation of the SystemFlow software package. This free trial package is available for download at www.pentek.com/systemflow/systemflow.cfm#SystemFlowSimulator.


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