Multichannel Amplifier for Airborne ECM System
A major defense contractor had to cut cost and improve reliability for an advanced airborne electronic countermeasures system. A key candidate for improvement was a four channel, filtered, high dynamic range, low noise amplifier assembly. The item required excellent out-of-band-rejection characteristics combined with low noise and high third-order-intercept, and had to use minimal DC power while operating in an extremely high vibration environment. The incumbent supplier had implemented its solution using hybrid micro-assembly and microwave integrated circuit (MIC) techniques in a compact, hermetically sealed package requiring three supply voltages.
CAP Wireless was able to offer a lower cost, higher reliability solution by designing a product suitable for high volume production on conventional surface mount assembly equipment. By implementing a unique multilayer RF printed circuit design, the unit not only met the size constraints of the original MIC design, it also required only two of the three available supply voltages. Conformal coating of the circuit board eliminated expensive hermetic sealing, as proven through extensive environmental testing. Surface mount production assembly reduced manufacturing cost and eliminated tuning, and extensive vibration testing, previously performed on each chip and wire unit, was no longer required.
CAP Wireless continues to ship this unit in high volume production quantities.