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2023 Military + Aerospace Electronics Innovations Awards Silver Honoree

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Revolutionary
RF + Digital
System Blocks

Get unmatched size and channel density with unequaled flexibility and performance. Open. Modular. Digitally enabled. Ideal for EW, SIGINT, ISR, and ELINT applications.

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New whitepaper: RF + Digital Integration Opens Up
New Possibilities for Modern EW Systems

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER

A new family of RF blocks with integral digital control. This will change everything.

Spectrum Control introduces SCi Blocks (pronounced “sky blocks”) a family of next-generation, digitally-enabled, plug-and-play RF solutions that addresses the size, weight, performance modularity requirements of emerging aerospace and defense systems.

Today’s SCi Blocks architecture has three levels. System in Package chips (RF SiPs), multifunction boards (sticks), and SOSA-aligned VPX modules that slide into a standard chassis/backplane. The SiPs and sticks are designed to be used standalone, as system building blocks, and/or to integrate into the OpenVPX module.

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A true revolution in size, channel density, tuning, and performance that will reshape future RF system design decisions.

The first products in the SCi Blocks family

 

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Wideband downconverters and upconverters

Ultra-miniature, high-performance and digitally tunable. Delivers total spectrum awareness from 20 MHz to 18 GHz, for up to 16 GHz of contiguous spectral coverage with 2 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth (IBW). 

Designed to achieve a new level of SWaP-C for electronic warfare (EW), signal intelligence (SIGINT), and Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) applications.

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3U VPX 8-channel wideband transceiver

Delivers the full fidelity of RF signal handling with integral digital control and minimal interconnects to create a wide range of design and usage options. Combine up to 8 Tx and or Rx modules for 8 channels of wideband performance in a SOSA-aligned 3U VPX form factor.

Open standards SOSA OpenVPX VITA

SWaP-C with no compromises!

Ultra Miniature
Ultra Miniature
We developed new design and manufacturing technologies that deliver pure analog performance in sizes never before achieved.

Breakthrough size and channel density

We have employed a mix of design and manufacturing technologies to achieve this dramatic reduction in size and weight. Full, wideband transmit or receive in a board measuring only 13 x 2 cm.

Wideband Performance
Wideband Performance
Our up/down converter offers total spectrum awareness from 20 MHz to 18 GHz for up to 16 GHz of contiguous coverage.

Wideband RF performance

The high-performance downconverter offers a gain of 25 dB and noise figure of 14-17 dB across the entire frequency range. Other specifications include third order intercept (IP3) of 25 dBm and single tone spurious of >/=60 dBc and IF calibration features for optimum spectral performance.

The upconverter stick offers gain of 20 dB and a noise figure of 25 dB across the entire frequency span. IP3 is 30 dBm and single tone spurious is >= -55 dBc at -10 dBm input and maximum gain. It also has independent user controllable input and output gain control of 31.5 dB, in 0.5 dB increments.

Digitally Tunable
Digitally Tunable
The integral digital gateway allows full tuning and control of the RF functionality.

Digital gateway for easy control and integration

The SCi Block Manager, a higher-level control function, is built into every module. The manager can be programmed to execute a variety of built-in test functions as well as control the RF performance of the module to accommodate changes in the operating environment making it agile and flexible to meet mission requirements.

This digital interface removes the cost and resource burden from the system developer of developing discrete control infrastructure and makes it easy for you to integrate these devices into larger assemblies and sub-systems.

Breakthrough size and channel density

We have employed a mix of design and manufacturing technologies to achieve this dramatic reduction in size and weight. Full, wideband transmit or receive in a board measuring only 13 x 2 cm.

Wideband RF performance

The high-performance downconverter offers a gain of 25 dB and noise figure of 14-17 dB across the entire frequency range. Other specifications include third order intercept (IP3) of 25 dBm and single tone spurious of >/=60 dBc and IF calibration features for optimum spectral performance.

The upconverter stick offers gain of 20 dB and a noise figure of 25 dB across the entire frequency span. IP3 is 30 dBm and single tone spurious is >= -55 dBc at -10 dBm input and maximum gain. It also has independent user controllable input and output gain control of 31.5 dB, in 0.5 dB increments.

Digital gateway for easy control and integration

The SCi Block Manager, a higher-level control function, is built into every module. The manager can be programmed to execute a variety of built-in test functions as well as control the RF performance of the module to accommodate changes in the operating environment making it agile and flexible to meet mission requirements.

This digital interface removes the cost and resource burden from the system developer of developing discrete control infrastructure and makes it easy for you to integrate these devices into larger assemblies and sub-systems.

FAQs for SCi Blocks

Read more about the new family of products from Spectrum Control.

What is 'Sky Blocks'?

From SIPs to Modules to Subsystems, SCi Blocks is Spectrum Control’s new product architecture. It revolutionizes how RF is integrated into the open, modular, and increasingly digital systems of the future – a balanced and coordinated version of plug-and-play RF.  

Why does this matter?

The Department of Defense has established open architecture initiatives as part of its goal to modernize its programs. This open initiative provides long-term advantages in repair and upgrades and prevents a supplier’s proprietary standards from locking the government into a restricted source of supply. SOSA (Sensor Open Systems Architecture) has been adopted as a standard by each of the US Armed Forces branches. Spectrum Control has embraced these open standards and has been developing a series of integrated engineering, design, and manufacturing initiatives to position the company as a leader in open standard RF building blocks for current and future DoD programs.

We know how much time customers spend directly and indirectly integrating, tuning, and sustaining RF functions in their systems. SCi Blocks are designed to minimize this problem by giving our customers a unified digital interface that spans the life of the product and is common to Spectrum Control’s offering.

How is our approach different?

To achieve the goals of open, modular and digitally controlled solutions we have applied a systems design approach, integrating RF and digital engineering teams to work in concert from the onset of new product development. We have an exceptionally talented engineering team that has achieved breakthroughs in size and functionality. Our underlying technologies, design approaches, and systems-level engineering expertise gives us the foundation to develop a series of products in the coming years that will truly separate us from our competitors. The initial product launch at IMS and following will allow us to demonstrate some of what is possible using our architectural approach. As we roll this out to the major defense contractors and DoD personnel, we expect to see requests for any number of variations and modifications to our initial designs.

 

Want to learn more?

Due to the nature of this technology, we are limiting the release of specifics at this time. If you’d like more information about product availability and customization needs, please contract the Spectrum Control team directly or use this secure form to be introduced to the team.