AUSA 2016: DRS Introduces Vesper, a New Family of RF Receivers for ELINT and SIGINT Missions

Army Recognition

October 4, 2016

The Vesper product line is a significant advancement in RF performance for modular, open-system architecture design. Developed with over 60 years of DRS’ RF expertise, the family of wideband Vesper receivers can be configured with up to a class-leading ten RF channels of receive or transmit capability in a single slot 1-inch pitch 6U VPX module.  

“Vesper’s differentiator in the RF tuner industry is the number of channels it can pack into a small form factor without compromising quality or performance,” said Kerry Rye, General Manager of Signal Solutions.  “Our engineering is focused on our customers’ need to keep reducing the size of this technology to maximize space on ever-smaller platforms,” Rye said.

As a front end to larger system applications, each RF receive or transmit channel can tune from 2 MHz to 6 GHz with 100 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth.  Digital data is timestamped and output via VITA 49 standard for system processing.  Channels within a VPX card or between multiple VPX cards can operate independently or are automatically phase-coherent when tuned to the same frequency, which allows for greater application possibilities.  The low phase noise synthesizers have fast tuning and rapid phase settling.  These features are ideal for geolocation systems performing direction finding or beam forming.

The modular design offers users an advantage over proprietary solutions that hinder upgrades to a system over its lifecycle. “Adherence to modular design approaches for rapid product instantiations, and open standards, was a strong consideration in the design of the Vesper product line. The performance, density, scalability and open VPX technology greatly simplifies and extends a system’s capability,” said Ian Hill, Senior Director of advanced technologies group and product design at DRS’ Signal Solutions business unit.

Built by DRS’ Signal Solutions business unit, the Vesper system is a leader in RF design for size, weight, power and performance, and with its high-signal fidelity and low spurious content, users can be confident they are detecting and analyzing genuine signals.