Case Study

National Instruments announces new FlexRIO transceiver

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National Instruments (NI), the provider of a software-defined platform that helps accelerate the development and performance of automated test and automated measurement systems, announced the FPGA-enabled PXIe-5785 FlexRIO transceiver, which aims to shorten the design cycle for advanced radar applications in aerospace and defence.

Advances in the use of the electromagnetic spectrum continue to drive military electronics to stay ahead of emerging threats. This evolution brings new challenges for the engineers and scientists designing and testing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

“Defence organisations must develop increasingly complex systems in a manner that is both cost and time effective, ”said Jason White, director of product management for automated test and RFatNI. “Engineers throughout the entire design cycle are tasked with shortening the time to successful deployment. NI’s newest PXI FlexRIO transceiver helps engineers accomplish just that.”

The PXIe-5785FlexRIO transceiver gives engineers access to the latest direct RF converters in a modular, commercial off-the-shelf package to help them shorten the development cycle. By working closely with major technology vendors, NI has incorporated emerging chipsets, including high-speed converters that sample up to 6.4 GS/s with 12-bit resolution. These high-speed converters are critical for modern radar systems, in which increased RF bandwidth equates to better spatial resolution, leads to fewer false detections and enables sophisticated electronic protection techniques.

“We see a growing number of requirements for multi-channel RF record and playback and real-time spectrum analysis applications with high dynamic range,” said Ross Q Smith, co-founder and CEO of RADX Technologies. “Until now, we could not provide a cost-effective solution for these customers. The new FlexRIO transceiver will help us delivers high-performance, high-channel-count IF solution for precision synchronisation and baseband analysis.”

The PXIe-5785 FlexRIO transceiver can also sample directly at RF, which simplifies and lowers the cost of high-channel-count systems. This is especially important when building systems such as fully active phased-array radars, in which beams are formed using hundreds or even thousands of antenna elements. And because FlexRIO modules are based on the PXI platform, users can integrate systems and synchronise modules more easily compared to custom designs or alternative form factors, such as VPX.

This latest PXI FlexRIO transceiver is part of a larger family of FlexRIO devices with user-programmable Xilinx Ultra Scale FPGAs, which help engineers meet custom requirements without the high cost of custom design.

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