Pentek, Inc., today released a rugged, portable, multiband recording and playback system for high-bandwidth IF and RF signals. The RTR 2726, latest in Pentek's turnkey Talon recorder family, is a complete workstation, data acquisition, and solid-state RAID recording system in a box for the capture and playback of signals up to 700 MHz in shock- and vibration-prone environments such as vehicles, ships, and aircraft.
The RTR 2726 is Pentek's second-generation in portable recording devices, but the first to use the popular Cobalt series of software radio modules. Customers with our first-generation RTS 2721 were using it in flight applications and asked for an upgrade to solid-state disk drives for tougher environments, said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. We went much further, increasing signal frequency and bandwidth, and nearly tripling the recording speeds.
The system includes built-in digital up- and down-converters, with record channels offering 16-bit, 200 MHz ADCs and playback channels offering 16-bit, 800 MHz DACs. It can stream data to and from storage at sustained data rates of 1600 Mbytes/second, allowing the RTR 2726 to support four channels of record and/or playback in a variety of configurations. Storage consists of eight hot-swappable solid-state disk drives in a RAID configuration with up to 4 TB in total capacity.
Data files include time stamping as well as recording parameters and optional GPS information. They are stored in the native Windows NTFS format, allowing drive units to be read by other PCs without the need for extensive file conversion. Files can also be downloaded from the system through Ethernet, USB ports, eSATA ports or written to optical disks using the built-in 8X double layer DVD±R/RW drive.
Rugged Portable Operation
The RTR 2726 is housed in a steel enclosure with carry handle, measuring 16.9 W x 9.5 D x 13.4 H and weighing just 30 pounds. A fold-down front panel holds a full keyboard and touchpad and exposes the unit's built-in 17 LCD monitor. The system can also be closed and operated remotely using a built-in Ethernet port. Connections are made through the unit's side panel and include analog signal inputs and outputs, six USB ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two eSATA ports, PS2 ports for external keyboard and mouse, and a VGA output for connection to an external monitor.
The cooling system in the RTR 2726 includes built-in temperature monitoring. A temperature monitor display is included underneath the systems LCD and built-in temperature alarms provide users with early alerts when operating in very hot environments.
Like all of Pentek's recording and playback instruments, the RTR 2726 is a full Windows-based workstation. It includes a quad-core Xeon® processor, a high-resolution 17 LCD monitor, keyboard, and a high-performance SATA RAID controller along with Cobalt modules for the data acquisition, signal conditioning, and playback.
Software built into the RTR 2726 includes the Windows 7 Professional operating system and Pentek's SystemFlow Recording software. SystemFlow features a GUI for setup and control of the record and playback operations and is able to store configuration profiles for later one-click set-up. In addition the SystemFlow software includes signal viewing and analysis tools that allow the user to monitor the signal prior to and during recording as well as examining the signal during playback. The tools include a virtual oscilloscope and virtual spectrum analyzer, eliminating the need for additional equipment during a data collection session.