New Series of Sentinel Intelligent Signal Scanning Recorders

Pentek addition to its family of Talon signal recording and playback systems, the RTS 2620 6 GHz RF Sentinel Intelligent Signal Scanning rackmount recorder. The Talon RTS 2620 recorder is suitable for military, security and government intelligence (SIGINT, COMINT and ELINT) 2620Sentinel_PR Lapplications. The RTS 2620 is the first recorder to combine and exploit the power of a Pentek Talon recording system with a fully integrated signal scanner, RF tuner and RF upconverter.

A Pentek Model 78621 Cobalt transceiver module serves as the data acquisition engine of the Talon RTS 2620. Its 200 MHz 16-bit A/D converter provides 86 dB of spurious-free dynamic range and 74 dB of SNR. A digital downconverter (DDC) provides frequency zooming for signal bandwidths as low as a few kHz. The Model 78621 is coupled to a 6 GHz RF tuner front end with excellent dynamic range across its entire spectrum.

Sentinel Intelligent Signal Scanning

The Sentinel recorder provides automated signal monitoring and detection. The user specifies a start and stop frequency for the scan, covering any range between 2 MHz and 6 GHz. The RF tuner and DDC step across the scan range in consecutive bands, each programmable up to 40 MHz in width. RF energy in each band is detected to create a waterfall spectrum display of the entire scan.

Any band can be selected for continuous real-time monitoring and/or recording. In addition to manual band selection, a recording can be automatically started during a scan by configuring signal strength threshold levels to trigger a recording of the detected band. Each recording captures an instantaneous bandwidth up to 40 MHz.

“The RTS 2620 takes our world-class Talon recorder product line to the next level of integration. The new Sentinel recorder makes it extremely easy to automatically detect very small signals across a very large spectrum, a prime imperative for our signal intelligence customers,” said Rodger Hosking, vice-president of Pentek. “Not only can this new recorder help engineers in a lab record and analyze signals of interest, it can also be deployed in a war-fighting environment where enemy signals need to be detected or captured for tactical purposes,” he added.

“Midwest Microwave Solutions is excited to be part of Pentek’s announcement of the new Talon SIGINT recorders,” said Phillip J. Rezin, president. He added, “Integrating our RF tuner as the front end of the new Sentinel recorder with new control and scanning capabilities creates a more integrated, more complete recorder and a more sophisticated solution for communications applications.”

Ease of Operation

Sentinel 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 SystemFlow software has been enhanced to include intelligent scanning and integrated control of the RF tuner and optional RF upconverter. The software provides a GUI with point-and-click configuration management and can store custom configurations for single-click setup. It also includes a virtual oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer and spectrogram to monitor signals before, during and after data collection.

Post processing and analysis software tools like Matlab can be installed directly on the Talon RTS 2620 platform. Data files are recorded to the Windows native NTFS file system, which allows operators immediate access to recordings without the need for any file format conversion.

Configuration Options and Pricing

Depending on storage requirements, the Talon RTS 2620 is configured in a 3U–6U 19″ rackmountable chassis, with hot-swappable data drives, front panel USB ports and I/O connectors on the rear panel. The hot-swappable Hard Disk Drive (HDD) array is available in 2 to 192 TB configurations and supports RAID levels 0, 5, or 6.

Additional options include a 6 GHz RF upconverter to allow users to re-transmit recorded signals at the same RF frequency at which they were recorded, GPS time and position stamping and 10GbE or 40GbE offload facilities. The Talon RTS 2620 starts at $75,000 USD. Delivery is 10-12 weeks ARO for all models.

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