Around the globe, modulated, encrypted and multiplexed signals are increasing in number, type and complexity, creating challenges for signal surveillance and exploitation.
Today’s airborne SIGINT payloads require advanced, open and modular architectural designs and technical implementation to meet these challenges with improved signal location and exploitation capabilities.
One of the great challenges for airborne SIGINT payloads, installed on aircrafts or UAVs, is to be able to exploit low power intercepted signals from the ground, and to be able to output a strong enough counter signal in order to manipulate the tracked ground signal source.
This challenge requires putting much more RF gain into payload's transmitting and receiving links.
The traditional Omni-directional antennas, frequently being used for airborne SIGINT payloads, provide no restriction to the aerial platform's attitude on one hand, but forces to increase transmission power output or improving reception's sensitivity on the other hand, when more RF gain is required.
The need to put more RF gain into the SIGINT payloads commonly conflicts with several other aerial platforms' design considerations, such as:
- Limited "floor space" for the SIGINT payload installation (mostly for UAV)
- Limited power output allowed for the SIGINT payload due to mutual electro-magnetic interferences with other electronic systems onboard
- Limited platform's power supply capability (mostly for UAV)
Euclid System Engineering Ltd, an Israeli company, has recently announced a new smart directional antennas solution for airborne SIGINT payloads, called RTA system (Rotary Tracker – Airborne).
The RTA system comprises of a single or dual directional antennas sub-assemblies, controlled by a central tracking controller, which enables an automatic GPS based pointing of the antennas towards target's position (alternatively, tracking the target by Received Signal Strength).
Euclid's RTA system utilizes light weight and small sized directional antennas along with cutting edge DC motors, motion drivers and navigation sensors.
The RTA enables to continuously direct the SIGINT payloads transceiver's "lobe" towards the region of interest, and by that achieve more gain to the SIGINT RF link with only a minimal increasing in overall system's power consumption and floor space, and a dramatic reduction of payload's "mutual interfering" electro-magnetic radiation.