Pentek adds digital I/O to Talon RTX recorders

Environmentally-sealed and conduction-cooled, the Talon RTX high-speed recording system is particularly well-suited to harsh mechanical and thermal environments such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), aircraft pods and military vehicles, says Pentek.

The Talon RTX 2596 is the latest addition to the Talon RTX small form factor (SFF) series of high-speed, high-performance, rugged recording systems. It is capable of recording and playing back four serial front panel data port (sFPDP) data streams.

The Talon RTX 2596 is fully-deployable and can be used for capturing digitised sensor data from radar systems and RF down converters that use the lightweight VITA 17.1 sFPDP protocol. It supports baud rates to 4.25GBaud and has options for multi-mode or single-mode optical interfaces.

The VITA 17.1 specification is fully implemented, providing standard sFPDP features such as flow control, copy/loop mode and cyclical redundancy check (CRC) error checking. The Talon RTX 2596 also provides playback capabilities so that user can operate the system as either a receiver or a transmitter.

The Talon RTX 2596 SFF recorder weighs just 18 pounds (8.16kg) and is optimised for size, weight and power (SWaP). The rugged sealed half ATR recorder is available with up to 61Tbyte of removable SSD storage.

“The Talon RTX SFF recorders have undergone extensive independent laboratory testing to assure they can operate in some of the toughest environments,” assures Chris Tojeira, recording systems director, Pentek. They have been tested to an array of standards in the MIL-STD-810 and -461 specifications, to cover UAV, aircraft pod or shipboard use.

The RTX SFF recorders are engineered to operate with high levels of shock and vibration and the chassis also keeps all electronics sealed from the external environment. The half ATR chassis uses military standard circular I/O connectors to control RF emissions while protecting the recorder’s electronics from humidity, water, dust, sand and salt fog.

The Talon RTX SFF chassis seals the internal electronics by extracting heat through conduction to an air-cooled inner plenum. A thermostat-controlled, removable fan pulls air into the front of the chassis, through the plenum and then out the back of the chassis. Only the fan is exposed, assuring all system electronics are protected in the sealed chassis, says Pentek. The inner plenum can be replaced to provide other cooling options, such as liquid or conduction cooling.

Operation is across the -40 to +60 degrees C range. The ability to operate in most thermal environments makes them particularly well-suited to UAVs, aircraft pods, tight equipment bays, military vehicles and most outdoor environments, says Pentek.

Pentek’s QuickPac drive pack is easily removed from the recorder via a set of captive thumb screws on the front panel. Fully sealed with environmental gasketing, an empty QuickPac drive pack can replace a full one for short down times and extended missions. A companion offload system for the QuickPac drive pack is available so the recorder can be redeployed while the recorded data is transported and reviewed via the offload system at a ground facility. The QuickPac drive pack holds up to 61Tbyte of SSD data storage and supports RAID levels 0, 5 or 6.

For secure applications, a separate operating system drive can be removed, allowing users to extract all non-volatile memory from the system in just a few seconds.

Talon RTX SFF recorders with the Intel Core i7 7700K, 7th Generation Quad Core 4.2GHz processor and 8.0Gbyte DDR4 DRAM, are expandable to 16 or 32Gbyte and enough processing power to act as the primary mission computer when needed, with minimal impact on the overall power budget of the system, says Pentek.

SystemFlow software interface is integrated into every Talon recorder. The Pentek software includes the graphical user interface (GUI) that is used to control the recorder with point-and-click configuration management, using a client/server communication interface. An NTFS file system ensures immediate access to recorded files, and an application programming interface (API) supports custom user applications and control. The system can be controlled remotely via the Gigabit Ethernet interface available on one of the MIL-STD circular connectors. Signal analysis tools include a virtual oscilloscope, spectrum analyser and spectrogram to monitor signals before, during and after data collection.

The Talon SFF recorders offer an optional GPS receiver for precise time and position stamping. Additional QuickPac drive packs with 3.8 to 61Tbyte are available. Computer I/O on all models includes Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, RS-232 and HDMI.

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