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Home > What's New > Upper Saddle River, NJ - April 28, 2009

Pentek Introduces Real-Time Data Recording and Playback System with Multiband Transceiver

  • Real-Time Sustained Recording and Playback Rates up to 500 MB/sec
  • 5 Terabytes of Storage in a NTFS Disk Array
  • Virtual Oscilloscope and Spectrum Analyzer with GUI
  • Complete High-Performance Windows Workstation
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Upper Saddle River, NJ - April 28, 2009 -

By announcing its new RTS 2701 Recording and Playback System with Multiband Transceiver, Pentek has introduced a system that can be used as a powerful laboratory test instrument, as a stand-alone remote data acquisition system, or as a dedicated record/playback sub-system for deployed applications. Building upon previous expertise in portable recording and playback systems, the RTS 2701 incorporates enhanced software features and a highly capable 7641-420 Software Defined Radio (SDR) module.

The RTS 2701 is a complete dual-channel transceiver recording and playback system in a standard 19-inch, rack-mount server chassis that can be placed in a rack or used on a desktop. As a powerful Windows XP workstation, the system allows customers to run their own applications plus a wide range of third-party software for signal analysis and post processing.

Many customers need a recording facility as a general laboratory test instrument. By simply plugging in a monitor, mouse and keyboard, the customer has a ready-to-use PC-based instrument. The intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) presents an interactive virtual control panel that is easy to use and yet powerful enough for the user to configure complex recording and playback scenarios.

"Our RTS 2701 is a ready-to-use turnkey system, so customers who need real-time recording don't have to do the software development. It gives them easy access to our technology so that they can realize the benefits of the many software radio modules for which Pentek is well known," said Rodger Hosking, vice president.

The RTS 2701 is well suited for digitizing analog signals from a communications system or a radar system and delivering that data to high-speed disk arrays at sustained data rates as high as 500 MB/second. Once captured, the data can then be easily post processed or archived.

Recorded signals can be played back through D/A converters, reproducing real-time analog output signals while preserving the original bandwidth. This feature is extremely useful for replicating signals recorded in the field during a mission and as an arbitrary waveform generator for producing complex analog signals created with signal synthesis tools.

The RTS 2701 is equipped with Pentek's Model 7641-420 Multiband Transceiver. It comprises wideband and narrowband digital downconverters that translate analog IF signals to baseband and digital upconverters that translate baseband digital signals to analog IF frequencies. They deliver a diverse set of bandwidths and sampling rates, with bandwidths as low as 8 kHz for voice bands, all the way up to 60 MHz for wideband radar. Input signals can be centered at IF frequencies as high as 300 MHz, so the RTS 2701 can handle a signal that is 40 MHz wide at 140 MHz just as easily as a signal 10 kHz wide at 21.4 MHz.

New software employed in this product features a highly modular architecture that affords Pentek the flexibility to efficiently accommodate specific customer needs for channel count, storage capacity, recording rates and signal frequencies and bandwidths.

"The RTS 2701 is a finished product already in production. It benefits from many man-years of customer testing, feedback and feature enhancement," added Hosking.

Summarizing the Features

The RTS 2701 Recording and Playback System includes two 125 MHz A/Ds each generating data samples at 250 MB/sec. To match this rate, the system can record or playback both channels continuously in real-time at an aggregate sustained rate of 500 MB/sec.

The standard version of the RTS 2701 comes with 5 terabytes of disk storage in a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) array. The system can be configured for RAID levels 0,1, 5, 6, 10 and 50.

Pentek's SystemFlow software includes client and server packages. The client software includes an interactive GUI control panel for the virtual instrument, plus a powerful oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer for viewing signals in the time and frequency domains both before and after recording.

The server software incorporates all of the real-time services for recording and playback including configuring the hardware and managing all data transfers to and from the disks.

All files recorded by the RTS 2701 are stored as NTFS (Windows NT file system) files, a native format that is portable across multiple operating systems. Recorded files are instantaneously readable by other applications, eliminating the time-consuming file translation processing required by competing systems that record using a proprietary format. The same compatibility benefit applies to files generated by a user application for playback.

Each recorded file includes a header containing a time stamp and recording parameters with bandwidth, center frequency, sampling rate and channel identification.

Remote Server and Sub-System Capabilities

Another major feature unique to the RTS 2701 is an Application Programming Interface (API) supported by the SystemFlow server software. Pentek provides a well-documented set of commands that allows the RTS2701 to be controlled over Ethernet.

The RTS 2701 can be installed in a remote location such as a monitoring facility or an airborne or shipborne equipment bay. By connecting it to a client-host computer over Ethernet or even over the Internet, API command and status messages can control and monitor the real-time record and playback activities within the server.

Perhaps a customer is developing an advanced signal processing system, but needs to attach a recording I/O facility to the larger system. Again, the larger system can use the API to control the RTS 2701 Recording and Playback System.

Photos and Attachments

Media contact:
Barbara Stewart, Patterson & Associates
39810 N 105th Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
Tel: +1 (480) 488-6909
Email: barbara@patterson.com

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