NI unveils FlexRIO transceiver for testing high bandwidth radar systems

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National Instruments (NI), has unveiled the FPGA-enabled PXIe-5785 FlexRIO transceiver, which is said 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 which are looking to counter emerging threats.

“Defence organisations must develop increasingly complex systems in a manner that is both cost and time effective,” explained Jason White, director of product management for automated test and RF at NI. “Engineers throughout the entire design cycle are tasked with shortening the time to successful deployment.”

In response, the PXIe-5785 FlexRIO transceiver from NI, has been designed to give 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 been able to incorporate emerging chipsets, including high-speed converters that sample up to 6.4 GS/s with 12-bit resolution.

High-speed converters are critical to modern radar systems, in which increased RF bandwidth equates to better spatial resolution, leads to fewer false detections and enables sophisticated electronic protection techniques.

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. As FlexRIO modules are based on the PXI platform, users can also integrate systems and synchronize modules more easily compared to custom designs or alternative form factors, such as VPX.