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Latest News & Guides

PPM Systems Enables A 5x Increase in Detection Range

One infrastructure, all capabilities: discover evergreen RF over fibre architecture solutions.

PPM Systems are increasing observational antenna radius by solving signal distribution limitations*. Enabling the next step in capability performance across multiple domains, PPM Systems have integrated operationally and commercially proven RF over fibre products together to form complete RF over fibre architecture solutions. For delegates attending the Combined Naval Event in May, these solutions will be available to explore on stand E04.

Leveraging the benefits of COTS products and developing them for defence applications, PPM Systems uses extensive domain knowledge to form complete RF over fibre architecture solutions for the maritime ESM (Electronic Support Measures), EW (Electronic Warfare), CEMA (Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities) and C-UAS / C- USV (Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems / Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle) domains.

The industry leading knowledge within PPM Systems ensures seamless signal transmission even in demanding maritime and land environments, whilst providing exceptional signal quality and performance alongside antenna positioning freedom. The solutions are, and continue to be, developed in alignment with open standards such as Open VPX, with PPM Systems poised to enable EW capabilities through ruggedised and dynamically reconfigurable signal distribution – a step change in capability for customers.

Optical matrix diagram

Helping to ensure countries develop their maritime capabilities, ensure freedom of navigation is not threatened and, when necessary, sea control and denial are achieved, the Navy Leaders Combined Navy Event is a must-attend, especially as the maritime environment is emerging as a key priority for NATO and its partners. The intent is for a wide cross-section of attendees from international navies, defence industry and academia to explore how to align in common purpose to ensure naval capabilities match to the strategic, operational and technological opportunities and demands of the future.

Combined Naval Event

The event will be held at the Farnborough Expo on 21st – 23rd May, where over 1500 attendees will be able to explore these RF over fibre architecture solutions that deliver ‘Any Signal, Anywhere’. Providing an easy post-design integration option with lossless and secure signal transport, these solutions are ideal for routing into SCIF environments, and for cost effective improvement of maritime ESM capabilities.

Don’t miss the largest annual naval event in Europe – register to attend the Combined Naval Event at navyleaders.com today.

*10m coax based antenna at 18 GHz would have 18% of the observational radius of the optically enabled Antenna CCU.

SDSC-UK to Feature PPM Systems’ Optical Distribution

At the 2023 edition of the UK’s most diverse and forward thinking expo, SDSC-UK, PPM Systems will be displaying the proven and mature RF over fibre solutions enabling the next step in capability performance across the land ECM (Electronic Counter Measures), ESM (Electronic Support Measures) and EW (Electronic Warfare) domains.

The event, formerly known as 3CDSE (Three Counties Defence and Security Expo), is newly branded as SDSC-UK (Specialist Defence & Security Convention UK) and will take place at the Telford International Centre on 2nd November 2023, with PPM featured on stand 75.

Military Vehicle with Antennas

With open standards embedded at the core, PPM’s RF over fibre architecture, which securely distributes any signal anywhere, is scalable and readily ruggedised. The industry-leading knowledge behind the innovation ensures seamless signal transmission even in demanding environments, whilst providing exceptional signal quality and performance and minimal loss.

Optical distribution solutions from PPM Systems

Applications of the mature and readily ruggedized RF over fibre solutions range from optical distribution for vehicle based FP (Force Protection) ECM and EW, to antenna remoting for distributed ES (Electronic Surveillance) antennas from highly classified processing equipment. Products are suited to all domains and platforms, including SCIFs.

“SDSC provides an excellent opportunity to showcase our mature Optical Distribution products, demonstrating how it and our wider range of products can be used to deliver reliable end user capability,” said Will Higham, PPM Systems.

SDSC-UK is an active touch-point for leading-edge technology and strategic thinking, bringing together the UK’s leading innovators to create a forum for mutually beneficial commercial discussions between industry, armed forces, government, law enforcement and emergency services. The show brings together senior military leading forces development and procurement, senior police engaged in the fight against cyber-crime, the intelligence and security agencies, and the industry innovators who supply them, to identify future strategies and needs.

Speak to the experts at PPM Systems on stand 75 at SDSC on 2nd November. Get your ticket free of charge with PPM code: PPM100 at www.sdsc-uk.co.uk (valid until 27th October)!

Transforming Communication with Blade Antennas

In a modern society where seamless connectivity is a necessity, innovative solutions in antenna technology are paramount. Blade antennas are rapidly becoming a preferred choice in various industries, from telecommunications to aerospace, offering unparalleled performance and reliability.

They have emerged as a versatile and powerful alternative to traditional counterparts.

The JEM Engineering blade antennas supplied by PPM Systems are designed to meet the evolving needs of communication systems. Their unique, sleek and flat design distinguishes them from traditional whip antennas, making them perfect for applications where aesthetics and aerodynamics are essential, such as airborne applications. This means that they can be easily integrated into electronic devices and are ideal for applications with space limitations. The UVW-0827 (L/S miniature blade antenna), for example, is ultra-lightweight and only measures approximately 2 inches tall.

The antennas’ high frequency range is suited to wireless networks, mobile devices, satellite communication and radar systems. In particular, the UVW-0430B model (UHF Dipole Blade Antenna) operates between 400 and 6000 MHz, which is more suited to UAV, SIGINT and sensor systems.

UVW-0430B Blade Antenna

The distinctive broadside radiation pattern makes them well-suited for tasks demanding precise beamforming attributes.

It is crucial to carefully examine the design of the necessary blade antenna to guarantee its optimal performance across various applications.

Browse our range of antennas, or to discuss your antenna requirements, please contact the PPM Systems team.

Bespoke designs are available.

 

 

DSEI Visitors to Discover How RF over Fibre Enables Maritime ESM & Land EW Solutions

PPM Systems, the expert in RF over fibre architecture solutions for government and defence, is exhibiting at the biggest ever DSEI event this September and will be showcasing proven RF over Fibre solutions designed to enable the next step in capability performance in the maritime ESM (Electronic Support Measures), land ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) and EW (Electronic Warfare) domains. The operationally and commercially proven RF over Fibre products that PPM Systems have integrated together to form complete RF over fibre solutions, will be on display on stand H2-867.

These RF over fibre architecture solutions deliver ‘Any Signal, Anywhere’, and provide an easy post-design integration option with lossless and secure signal transport. This makes them suitable for routing into SCIF (sensitive compartmented information facility) environments, and ideal for cost effective improvement of maritime ESM capabilities.

PPM Systems is leveraging the benefits of COTS products and developing them for defence applications, using extensive domain knowledge to form complete RF over fibre architecture solutions from these products. This industry-leading knowledge ensures seamless signal transmission even in demanding maritime and land environments, whilst providing exceptional signal quality and performance alongside antenna positioning freedom.

COTS products on display: maritime antenna from ARA and optical routing products from ViaLite Communications

These solutions are, and continue to be, developed in alignment with LCA open standards, with PPM Systems poised to enable Land ECM & EW capabilities through ruggedised and dynamically reconfigurable signal distribution – a step change in capability for customers.

“DSEI is the ideal platform to showcase the proven solutions which are ready to be integrated into existing and new systems,” said Neil Seager from PPM Systems. “RF over fibre provides a vastly more efficient, secure and flexible option for both maritime and land applications, improving effectiveness of CESM (Communications Electronic Support Measures).”

Covering the theme ‘Achieving an Integrated Force’ this year, DSEI promises to be an unmissable event crucial to governments, armed forces and the wider surrounding industries. Offering cutting-edge solutions, networking opportunities, and valuable insights from industry experts, the show will empower attendees to stay at the forefront of the rapidly evolving defence and security landscape.

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit PPM Systems on stand H2-867 for a coffee while you discover the benefits of signal transport freedom.

Register for your ticket: https://www.dsei.co.uk/.

PPM Joins Forces to Develop Remote Radio Head Technology for Countering IEDs

PPM Systems remote radio headThe development of improved technology to defeat RF triggered Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) is vital in combating deadly threats from insurgents and state actors. With this goal, PPM Systems is working in partnership with Allen Vanguard to develop novel Remote Radio Head (RRH) technology in support of the next generation of Counter IED (CIED) capability.

This collaborative work aims to develop an RRH demonstrator to de-risk several key technological areas in the Land based Cyber Electromagnetic environment following the recently secured MOD funding from a Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) innovation call to develop novel technologies and techniques.

Plextek Services join PPM Systems in partnering with Allen Vanguard, with Plextek using artificial intelligence generative design to minimise the thermal impact of RRHs, whilst PPM Systems uses its leading-edge expertise in RF over Fibre (RFoF) technology to:

  • eliminate cable losses between power amplifier and antenna
  • produce unparalleled bandwidth and isolation performance
  • provide dynamic configurability using Optical Wavelength Division Multiplexing based switching
  • ensure alignment with Land CEMA Architecture (LCA) and the associated Radio Head (RHD) module specification in the MORA open standard
  • ensure low latency, equivalent to coaxial connectivity.

Commenting on the project, Neil Seager of PPM Systems said: “We are delighted to be working with Allen Vanguard to advance the development of LCA aligned optical radio heads, showing our commitment to collaborating to deliver the best product to our customer.”

For more information on PPM Systems’ products and capabilities, please contact us.

 

PPM Systems antenna & RRH

RRH demonstrator

RRH development

Benefits of Concealed Antennas

Concealed antennas are a relatively new trend in the RF industry. In this article we will explore what concealed antennas are, how they work, and some of their benefits.

Concealed antennas, as the term suggests, are antennas that are designed to be relatively or completely hidden from view.

Concealed antennas are typically installed within a structure, such as a building, vehicle, or even in somewhere smaller and less conspicuous. While they are usually smaller and more discreet than traditional antennas, they work in much the same way as traditional antennas, in which they use electromagnetic radiation to transmit and receive signals. Also like traditional antennas, concealed antennas work within a frequency range tailored to their intended application.

JEM-2438MFC Low Profile Antenna

 

There are many benefits to using concealed antennas

Concealed antennas can be designed to be almost invisible. The ability to hide the equipment allows for more stealth, as well as enhanced aesthetics. Concealing antennas can also prevent them from being vandalised or stolen in public areas.

The antenna industry continues to develop products that are increasingly more portable and compact. Because concealed antennas can be installed within architectural and vehicular structures, they can free up valuable space that would have otherwise been required for a traditional external antenna.

Concealed antennas can also be designed to work with a variety of materials and substrates with which traditional antennas normally do not. This enhanced versatility can render better signal quality and reduced interference.

 

Concealed antennas are only growing in relevance in the world of antenna technology

These antennas provide an elegant solution to traditional antenna installation methods and can be used in a variety of applications where aesthetics, space-saving, improved signal quality, and reduced interference are most important. As the demand for sleek, discreet, and reliable wireless communication solutions continues to grow, we can expect to see more and more applications of concealed antennas in the future.

Written by Sarah Infante, JEM Engineering

 

Contact the PPM Systems team to discuss your antenna requirements or visit the concealed antennas product page to find out more about the full range.

Evergreen Optical Solutions at 3CDSE 2022

Discover the flexible CEMA, C4 and ISR solutions connecting the technology of today with the capabilities of tomorrow at 3CDSE this November.

The UK’s most diverse and forward-thinking security is once again bringing together military, law enforcement and security agencies to meet with leading defence and security technology and innovation businesses on the 3rd November at the Three Counties Showground.

3CDSE always focuses on the new threat landscape, and with the move to a new ecosystem governed by open standards for the creation and application of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment, there’s never been a more important time to stay in the loop.

PPM Systems is actively involved in defining, maturing and applying the open standards for connecting this new ecosystem, in part due to its proven history of strong collaboration and its authority in the RF and optical domains. Working with CEMA, C4 and ISR system integrators, PPM is delivering collaborative, future-proof solutions.

Connecting the technology of today with the capabilities of the future, evergreen RF over fibre solutions easily integrate with the radio equipment you have now and will allow you to smoothly add in equipment from any suppliers at any point. Ease your current Vehicle Integration Kit (VIK) challenges and take your first, simple step into the ecosystem of the future.

Crossbow from PPM Systems

Next month, explore this technology agnostic solution where all types, modulations and classifications of signal can be carried on a single, compact RF over fibre cable. Fibre is also impervious to interference from other electromagnetic signals and, as it can be part of a distributed network, you get flexible optical routing, distributed processing, antenna remoting and reduced armour penetration.

Open standards are here – speak to the experts at PPM Systems on stand 92 at 3CDSE on 3rd November to get ahead. Book your ticket today!

“Engaging with the MOD’s future programmes is vital, so we’re excited to be back at 3CDSE for 2022 to do just that! It’s a key place for us to catch up with industry and defence colleagues and stakeholders, to meet new customers and contacts, and to strengthen our collective knowledge and collaboration.”

Neil Seager, PPM Systems

PPM Systems are the experts in RF over fibre systems for government and military/defence sectors, combining the results-focused solutions of a consultancy with the technical expertise of a manufacturer. Based on the outskirts of Swindon, UK, PPM Systems is a division of Pulse Power and Measurement Limited www.ppmsystems.com.

HF and SINCGARS Communications Antenna

New from PPM Systems, the ARA-252-201 antenna is a dual-port, multiband, omnidirectional, vehicular mounted antenna. The antenna consists of three collocated apertures to provide maximum performance and minimal footprint once installed. The two upper bands are diplexed together while the low band is provided on a separate channel.

ARA-252 HF SINCGARS Communications antenna

 

High and Low-Band Ports

The antenna high-band port has been designed for optimum gain from 225 to 450 MHz, 1350 to 2600 MHz and is perfect for UHF and WNW Software Defined Radio (SDR) applications. The low-band port adds 30 to 88 MHz operation intended for HF and SINCGARS communications. The gain has been tuned for -10° to +10° in elevation while providing full 360° in azimuth with less than 1.5 dB or variance. The antenna is rated for 125 Watts of CW power over both bands.

 

Commercial Off the Shelf

This antenna is intended to be bolted to a standard Universal Antenna Mount or a NATO standard 4.5-inch bolt circle found on most military vehicles. The two N-Female connectors are located at the base of the antenna in the center of the mount. This antenna is an environmentally qualified and Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS). The rugged construction is designed to pass the operational “Oak Beam” test at 25 mph.

 

Browse PPM System’s Military Communications antenna range and contact us to discuss your requirements.

Signal Monitoring with Wideband Spiral Antennas

The increasing use of wireless devices in recent times has led to the need for larger bandwidth in wireless communication. Effectively managing and monitoring these signals is important. Signal monitoring requires wideband antennas or frequency independent antennas such as spirals. Frequency independent antennas theoretically have no bandwidth limitations. Polarisation, radiation pattern and impedance of such antennas remain unchanged over a large bandwidth.

Spiral antennas have high spectral efficiency, low gain, and can transmit circularly polarised radio waves and receive linearly polarised waves in any orientation. An array of spirals can produce higher gain. They have nearly constant input impedance and are capable of VSWR below 2.0:1.

Spiral antennas usually have two conductive spiral arms, which extend from the centre outwards. The direction of rotation of the spiral defines the direction of the antenna polarisation. More spirals may be added to form a multi-spiral structure. Spiral antennas can take the form of a flat disc or a three-dimensional shape like a screw thread and their spiral design allows them to be relatively small.

Spiral Antenna Series     HSA-2438 Spiral Antenna

PPM Systems offers a range of spiral antennas from different manufacturers. Contact us to make an enquiry and find the best antenna for your application.

ARA Spiral Antennas

ARA has a family of individual spiral antennas and multi-channel antenna arrays for applications including wideband communications, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), radar warning receivers, Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), and Signal Intelligence (SIGINT). These antennas meet airborne requirements and are MIL-STD-810G compliant.

JEM Spiral Antennas

JEM Engineering’s HSA product line of spiral antennas are widely used in the defence industry for sensing applications, where there is a need for compact, wideband antennas. Spiral antenna arrays are used in military aircraft in the 1 to 18 GHz range. Other applications include direction-finding, frequency spectrum monitoring, as well as GPS, where RHCP antennas are common.

Browse PPM System’s full antenna range.

Controlling the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Whether in theatre or at a test range, an increasing number of electronic devices are used to control the spectrum and ensure readiness on the battlefield. These devices create a multitude of RF spectrum emissions on the ground, air or sea. It is crucial to monitor and manipulate these RF emissions using spectrum monitoring and security jamming. The data thus received is used for collecting intelligence, mission planning, interface hunting, in-field analysis, building signal libraries and more. Spectrum monitoring and security jamming applications need high gain, rugged antennas.

The SAS family of antennas from ARA are intended for applications such as EMC testing, spectrum monitoring and security jamming. These antennas are available from PPM Systems as part of a wide range of products for military and defence applications.

SAS-200 series antenna
SAS-500 antenna

Depending on the application, a number of different configurations and options are available. Some of the important features of these antennas include:

  • Extremely broadband to mission specialised antennas covering full spectrum operations
  • Multiple size and weight options to support a variety of platforms to handheld operations
  • Available as passive units or as active units to support collection and jamming applications
  • Varying voltage and power output levels to support varying mission requirements
  • Single or multiple outputs to support ancillary devices and multichannel systems.

Browse our full range of EW Jamming Antennas, or contact PPM Systems for more information and to discuss specific requirements.

View SAS Antenna and Spectrum Operations Product Information

SAS-0518 Series Datasheet
SAS-200 Series Datasheet
SAS-500 Series Datasheet
Vehicle Spectrum Operations Series Datasheet

New Broadband Diplexers and Phase Shifters for RF Systems

PPM Systems continually expands its range of RF components to ensure customers always have the latest products for their critical RF applications. The components are widely used in defence and satellite communications.

The most recent additions to the range are a series of high power broadband diplexers, plus new low to high power RF phase shifters.

Corry RF phase shifters and broadband diplexer

Broadband Diplexers

The CMIDX series of high-power broadband diplexers are capable of handling input power of up to 150 watts, ideal for signal combining applications such as jamming, communication systems, re-broadcasting signals and multiband antenna systems with a common seeder.

The broadband diplexers can be found in PPM Systems’ RF signal conditioning range.

Phase Shifters

RF phase shifters are used in high frequency RF designs to provide a phase shift to the signal by adding propagation delay. PPM Systems can offer both precision voltage and digitally controlled phase shifters, used in applications including:

  • Communications antennas
  • Phased-array radar
  • Satellite communications
  • Phase cancellation
  • Beamforming systems.

Paul Cotterill, Business Development Manager, said: “Our ever-expanding range of RF components means our customers always have the latest technology available to design and build complex RF systems.”

Contact PPM Systems for more information and to discuss specific requirements.

Military Communications Advance for PPM Systems with New Trival Antennas and Masts

Military applications requiring antennas that operate in the lower frequency bands now have wider options for equipment following PPM Systems’ new agreement to distribute Trival Antene antennas and masts in the UK. The deal means that PPM Systems’ extensive range of antennas now extends all the way from 2 MHz to 40 GHz.

With applications in military communications, electronic warfare (EW) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) the products include a new tactical range of temporary mast systems as well as offering increased antenna choice in the HF/VHF and UHF bands.

There are also lightweight vehicle antenna system options and a wider range of antenna systems suitable for use on portable equipment.

MRZR IVAS Bloodhound Vehicle CC licensed 2019,Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0. Attributed to PEO C3T, 2019. Original version here.

Masts in the new range include vehicle mountable and winch driven versions up to 18m in height, and can be assembled by two people or in some cases even by one person. They offer a range of compatible mountable antennas together with a rotation capability on some models for use with directional antennas.

“Trival’s comprehensive antenna range is a perfect complement to our existing products in this area with its strong offering in the lower frequency bands,” said Paul Cotterill, Business Development Manager at PPM Systems.

A selection of the antennas will be displayed on PPM Systems’ stand (H2-562) at DSEI.

The full antenna range from PPM Systems can be found here.

PPM Systems to Display its COTS RFoF Solutions for Open Architectures

PPM Systems is excited to return to the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade show in September.

The company has been developing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) RF over fibre equipment to take advantage of open architectures. Visitors to DSEI can see a commercially-developed proof of concept on display at PPM’s stand.

foton-X optical routing solutions

New to PPM, a selection of Trival Antene’s high-quality antennas and masts will be on display at DSEI. Their antennas complement the existing PPM Systems range by adding an increased capability in the lower bands, with the addition of a new range of tactical antennas and masts.

Other products showcased will include the Rodent 4 military RF over fibre system, which enables signals intelligence (SIGINT) antennas to be deployed at a long stand-off distance, allowing personnel to safely obtain radio spectrum intelligence from the intended target zone. PPM will also showcase the latest bespoke filter and RF conditioning solutions, with individual filters to complete solution–system integration available.

ExCeL London

Dan Bromley, Technical Director, said: “PPM Systems is pleased to return to exhibiting in person. We are looking forward to discussing the work we have done in developing RF over fibre solutions for defence open standards.”

DSEI takes place at ExCeL, London from 14-17 September 2021. PPM Systems can be found on stand H2-562.

Guide: AESAs and Their Advantages

Active Electronically Steered Arrays (AESAs) are computer-controlled phased array antennas primarily used in radar systems, in which the beam of radio waves can be electronically steered in different directions without physically moving the antenna.

Although AESAs have strong directional capabilities, as well as employ beamforming technology. They are not to be confused with smart antennas, which use computer-generated signal processing algorithms to change signals.

JEM Engineering’s AESAs feature true-time-delay beamsteering, which allows the array to maintain its beam pointing angle over multi-octave bandwidth.

AESA Circular Array

PESA vs. AESA

The AESA’s predecessor, the Passive Electronically Scanned Array (PESA), is a solid state system in which all the antenna elements are connected to a single transmitter/receiver. The PESA’s main limitation is that it can only emit a single beam of radio waves at a single frequency at a time.

Unlike the PESA, the AESA uses many transmitter/receiver modules which are interfaced with the antenna elements, producing multiple, simultaneous radar beams at different frequencies. Since each module operates independently of the others, single failures have little effect on the operation of the system as a whole. The modules individually operate at low powers, eliminating the need for a large high-voltage power supply.

Circular Array Multiple Beams

Electronic Warfare (EW) Applications

AESAs provide high situational awareness, making them especially useful in EW applications.

AESAs can change frequencies with relative ease. This capability, coupled with the AESA’s ability to distribute multiple frequencies across a wide band (even within individual pulses), make AESAs more resistant to jamming techniques than their less adaptive counterparts.

AESAs also boast a low probability of intercept by an enemy Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), which issues a warning when it detects a radar signal that might pose a threat. The AESA’s ability to chirp effectively counteracts this. An AESA’s chirps can not only change frequency very quickly, but also in a random sequence, making it difficult for an RWR to distinguish an AESA radar beam from ambient “white noise” radio signals.

AESA Planar Array

AESAs can be developed for fixed‐site, vehicular and airborne applications. Employing patented and proprietary technologies, they offer many features not available with other arrays. Please contact PPM to discuss your requirements.

Guide: Choosing High Frequency RF Switches/Matrices

With the implementation of new equipment such as 5G, defence users are seeing more activity and potential threats in higher frequency bands and power levels. PPM Systems offers a range of RF switches and switch matrices with broad frequency ranges up to 40 GHz. Which switch to choose comes down to determining the properties most important for the application and acceptable trade-offs, whether it’s switching speed, insertion loss, or useful lifetime.

For applications involving high power (many hundreds or thousands of watts), mechanical switches and PIN diodes have the edge. These switches can handle up to 5 kW peak RF power. Switching is done in a power off state and can be as low as 50 ns depending on the frequency and power handling required.

High Power RF Switch Pin Diode Switch

Mechanical switches can handle the highest powers over a broad range of frequencies. They offer excellent isolation and the lowest insertion loss. On the other hand, their switching times are slower and their operating lifetime is limited to millions of cycles, because they involve physical movement. Therefore, they are more suitable for applications requiring intermittent switching.

A mechanical switch can accomplish switching speeds ranging from 50 ns to 275 ms depending on the model and type of switch selected. To achieve higher switching speeds, there are trade-offs to consider in terms of power and frequency.

 

Switch Matrices

The considerations above can be applied to RF switch matrices, with the added benefit of automation of the switching process. They eliminate the need to manually move connections by routing signals (via user control) from their input ports to their output ports, providing convenience and speed.

The RF switch matrices available from PPM Systems are capable of up to 40 GHz frequency handling and high RF power. Typical applications include automated production testing and routing in a lab environment requiring measurement of multiple RF components.

There are three different types of matrices that provide different functionality: blocking, non-blocking, and super non-blocking. A switch matrix can be designed to requirements, with different quantities of input and output ports. This could be as simple as a 1×2, as complex as a 256 x 256, or anywhere in between.

RF Switch Matrix Non-blocking switch matrix configuration

To determine the best RF switch or switch matrix for your application, contact us to discuss your requirements.

 

Useful links

RF Filtering and Signal Conditioning White Papers

RF Switches and Matrices Range

BAE Systems Acquires Pulse Power and Measurement

Pulse Power and Measurement (PPM) – of which PPM Systems is a business division – and BAE Systems have today [04/03/21] announced that BAE Systems has acquired PPM.

The acquisition is part of BAE Systems’ strategy to develop breakthrough technologies, with continued investment in research and development, working with customers, industry partners, SMEs and academia, and pursuing bolt-on acquisitions where they complement existing capabilities and provide an opportunity to accelerate the company’s position in key areas.

PPM Head Office

PPM’s technical excellence, developed over 25 years, has earned it a reputation for quality and reliability in the Satellite and Broadcast markets by providing the innovative ViaLite RF and fibre optic products used in the ground based communications segment. Amongst its wide range of capabilities, PPM provides pit lane and car telemetry in Formula 1, specialist measurement equipment for aircraft clearance, and high performance electronic sub-systems for power trains on electric vehicle and aerospace platforms.

PPM has a strong track record of working within the defence and communications sector, cyber security and commercial test and research markets in both the UK and USA and it strongly complements BAE Systems’ digital and data capabilities. Together the companies have a shared goal to expand the use of RF systems and power electronics technologies across a range of applications for military and commercial customers.

Ian Muldowney, Chief Operating Officer, Air Sector commented “Pulse Power and Measurement and BAE Systems are an excellent fit; both companies have superb technology credentials, thrive on innovation and work closely with military and government customers to deliver pioneering technology-based solutions. The acquisition further advances our strategic objective to develop and grow our capabilities in secure systems and information exploitation.”

 

Martin Ryan, Managing Director, Pulse Power and Measurement said “We are excited about joining BAE Systems and bringing together our complementary capabilities which will give our innovative team of specialists and engineers access to world-class expertise and ensure our successful business continues to grow.”

PPM will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of BAE Systems, retaining the name of Pulse Power and Measurement Limited.

For any enquiries, please contact us.

PPM Systems Supplies Custom Filters to British Army

PPM Systems has designed and produced 90 custom filters for the British Army spectrum team based at Blandford Camp to support the Army’s Battlefield Tactical Communication and Information Systems (BATCIS) programme to upgrade its capability.

Military Radio Silhouette

The custom filters include multiple designs of narrow band cavity filters in band pass and band stop versions. They are an important element that allow for increased co-location and integration of systems onto common platforms. The use of filters reduces intermodulation and out of band noise, providing optimum signal levels and traffic throughput.

Paul Cotterill, PPM Systems Business Development Manager, said: “This was a significant order for high quality filters across 30 custom types and is a good example of PPM’s rapid design capability to supply these types of filters.”

Corry Micronics Custom Filter RangeCorry Micronics Custom Filters

 

Cavity filters are ideal where low insertion loss and medium to high power handling is required with high selectivity and out of band rejection.

PPM Systems can supply custom filters in a range of designs and technologies including: lumped element (LC), cavity and comb filters, microstrip, ceramic coaxial and helical filters.

Contact us for more information.

New products for LEO/MEO and MIMO simulation

PPM Systems has expanded its range of channel simulators to include the IZT C5040 for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite constellations, as well as the C7000 RF Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) Emulator for Mobile ad-hoc networks (MANET) and 5G testing.

Military satcom LEO satellite network - Crown Copyright

The IZT C5040 is ideal for simulation of LEO/MEO satellite constellations involving complex handovers with variable path lengths and losses to the ground stations. The system has been designed to be to be driven using real constellation data or an external orbit simulator.

The IZT C7000 is a high-performance simulator system for testing 5G and MIMO radio system solutions in the frequency range of 30 MHz to 6 GHz, with 80 MHz instantaneous bandwidth.

Paul Cotterill, Business Development Manager, said: “These new products from IZT focus on emerging markets and address the requirements for hardware testing in a controlled environment by simulating new complex RF environments.”

These RF solutions for LEO/MEO satellite constellations and MANET radio links will become increasingly important in the next few years. The emerging constellations will expand markets for small satellites and global internet service providers. The MANET radio links will be used by army and law enforcement units transitioning to more agile digital mesh radio networks, for enhanced mission data support.

Military imagery – Crown Copyright.

New Cavity Triplexers and Hybrid Diplexers

PPM Systems now offers Corry Micronics cavity triplexers and hybrid diplexers for applications in Communications, Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Electronic Warfare. These new products can be used as the building blocks of RF systems, including:

  • Commercial and defence communication systems
  • Multi received transmit systems
  • Satellite communications.

The cavity triplexers are compact bi-directional devices consisting of three band pass filters e.g. L-Band, S-Band and C-Band (other custom bands are available). They achieve an excellent >90 dB port-to-port isolation with very low insertion loss, combining into one common antenna port bulkhead “N” connector. The triplexers are ideal for single antenna multiband applications up to 15 W peak power.

The new hybrid diplexers are three port devices featuring a common band for band pass and band stop filtering in different directions. They are ideal for test and verification applications measuring in band and out of band components.

Corry cavity triplexer hybrid diplexer

Paul Cotterill, Business Development Manager, said: “I’m pleased PPM Systems is able to offer these new products from Corry Micronics; further expanding our range of signal conditioning and RF products. Our customers now have even more solutions for their critical RF applications.”

Browse all RF filter and signal conditioning products here or contact us for more information.

PPM Opens 40 New Offices

Pulse Power and Measurement Ltd (PPM) has announced the opening of 40 new offices in the UK.

Those working from the 40 home offices continue PPM’s engineering and design, sales and marketing, customer service and accounts work. They are in addition to employees already working remotely in the USA, Poland and Thailand.

PPM Head Office

Most of the company’s Production team remain on-site for the manufacturing and shipment of orders, and – to ensure a completely smooth customer-experience – some customer service and accounts employees also remain. PPM has four divisions: PPM Systems, PPM PowerViaLite Communications and PPM Test; all of which are still taking and processing orders.

PPM’s aim is to provide its customers with a “business as usual” experience whilst protecting its staff and the local community. It has also published a coronavirus statement encouraging customers to ring up simply for a chat, should they be feeling isolated.

Neil Seager, CEO, said: “I’m not at all surprised by the rapid response and adaptability of everyone at PPM to the new normal, because that is what we do so well; nevertheless it has been a heartening experience.  We remain focused on you the customer, and are happy to chat anytime on Zoom, WebEx, Skype, or just by phone.”

Coronavirus Update

We would like to give you some comfort that we are still here and that our production facility and distribution facility remain operational.  We still aim to deliver on time and we are working closely with our customers where we feel our usual standard of delivery and service might be affected by the current challenges we face.  At the same time we are taking measures to ensure that the health of employees, customers and suppliers are not compromised.

Coronavirus COVID-19

 

Like other companies and organisations around the world, PPM is supporting the global efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) by introducing changes in line with Government and The World Health Organization Recommendations, including:

  • Staff are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if either them or a close family member displays symptoms of COVID-19
  • We are having meetings by telephone and videoconferencing (e.g. Skype and Zoom) rather than having visitors to our sites or making visits to customers or suppliers
  • Supporting working from home, where possible
  • For employees who must work onsite, we have deployed extra precautions to ensure their safety, including stringent hygiene measures and keeping a safe distance from colleagues.

The above measures remain in place until further notice. In the meantime, we will continue to work with you and support you to ensure we meet your requirements.  Should you have any questions (or would just like a chat to break up the isolation) please feel free to contact us.

The Team at PPM Systems.

​S&P Show Visitors to see New Surveillance Technology

PPM Systems will be exhibiting at the Security & Policing (S&P) Home Office event for the first time in March, showcasing the latest in electronic surveillance technology with products on display including Crossbow, Rodent 4 and a range of antennas.

The ‘Crossbow’ software-defined radio platform is designed to provide actionable, real time and critical information of the electromagnetic environment to its user who can operate the equipment at a safe distance from any potential threats. The system has a focus on quick deployment and its forward deployable platform can accommodate a number of Government software applications.

Rodent 4 uses wideband RF over fibre links in order to remotely deploy Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) antennas over a long distance; keeping the user safe. It is typically deployed to the target zone using a remote controlled vehicle (RCV) but can also be hand-carried. The system is designed to transmit signals between the remote antenna platform and receiving equipment.

The S&P show takes place at Farnborough International Exhibitor and Conference Centre from 3-5 March. PPM Systems can be found on stand C21.

S&P Show

PPM Systems Launches Mission-Critical Surveillance System at DSEI

PPM Systems drew attention at DSEI with the debut of its new mission-critical surveillance system, Crossbow, which provides scanning and decoding of the electromagnetic environment. By incorporating the latest software defined radio (SDR) technology, Crossbow offers special operations forces a strategic advantage through remote operation.

Also on display was the Rodent 4 military RF over fibre system, which enables SIGINT antennas to be deployed at a long stand-off distance. Designed for operation in extreme environments, the dual band, wideband system is typically deployed by a remote controlled vehicle, but can be hand-carried if necessary.

A range of innovative products, including the impressive base transceiver station and lightweight plastic filter from PPM’s new partner, Corry Micronics, helped draw visitors at DSEI. On the back of this, PPM Systems has booked an even larger stand for 2021.

DSEI visitorsCrossbow at DSEIDSEI naval ships

Perfect Fit as PPM Systems teams up with Corry Micronics

RF products from US manufacturer Corry Micronics will now be available from PPM Systems in the UK. The new partnership sees RF amplifiers, RF switches, switch matrixes, RF and microwave sub-systems added to PPM’s existing portfolio of RF over fibre systems, antennas, software-defined radio, spectrum analysers and more.

Corry Micronics has its roots in the US defence and security industries, the same sectors PPM has always been deeply committed to in the UK. Its components are an ideal complement to PPM’s suite of engineering services and products.

“Working with PPM Systems in the UK is a perfect fit for both our companies,” emphasised CJ McBride, Vice President of Sales at Corry Micronics. “PPM’s solid relationships within defence and security makes it well matched with our line of RF switches, amplifiers and custom RF sub-assemblies.”

Established in the 1970s to meet the needs of the US Department of Defense, Corry Micronics has become one of the key suppliers of EMI/RFI filters, RF and microwave components and sub-systems for critical defence, aerospace, medical, communications and industrial applications.

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PPM Systems to showcase Crossbow at DSEI

PPM Systems will be returning to the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade show next this September with new products for Specials Operations users.

Featuring prominently will be the company’s Crossbow RF scanning/decode system for mission-critical electronic surveillance of the electromagnetic environment. Using the latest Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology; it provides decoding, analysis, recording and processing of off-air data to deliver a strategic advantage to special operations forces while allowing them to work at a distance in relative safety.

Also on display will be the Rodent 4 military RF over fibre system, which enables SIGINT antennas to be deployed at a long stand-off distance, allowing personnel to safely obtain radio spectrum intelligence from the intended target zone. Suitable for operation in extreme environmental conditions, the wideband RF system is typically deployed using a remote controlled vehicle, but can be carried by hand if required.

Other products being showcased include the impressive lightweight plastic filter technology and base transceiver station from new partner Corry Micronics. Long term PPM partners Antenna Research Associates (ARA) and JEM Engineering will again have popular EW and Mil Satcom antennas on the PPM Systems stand.

DSEI takes place at ExCeL, London from 10-13 September 2019. PPM Systems can be found on stand S2-318.

DSEI Feature Area UK Capability Showcase

Capturing the Airwaves: RF decode delivers strategic advantage for Special Ops users

CrossbowActionable, real-time and mission-critical information on the electromagnetic environment is provided to Special Operations users by a new scanning/decoding system from PPM Systems. Known as Crossbow, the multi-role unit uses the latest software defined radio (SDR) technology.

The rugged platform provides decoding, analysis, recording and processing of off-air data for customisable user applications, with data held securely on an integral encrypted solid state drive. Its advanced design provides a strategic advantage while allowing operators to work in safety.

Designed for an electronic surveillance application at the request of HMG, the outdoor military standard unit features a reconfigurable user interface, local or remote antennas, and a multi-channel RF front end. It can be re-tasked in the field to meet changing mission objectives.

An In Service Support (ISS) package covering the product for its full operational life is also being provided, and the system has passed a rigorous design verification and NCSC cyber accreditation process.

 

PPM is targeting adjacent markets with Crossbow, as it is suitable for a range of related applications, and the company is in talks with other potential customers.

Software defined radio communication technology, where some or all of the physical layer functions are software defined, is predicted to become the dominant technology in military and civilian radio communications. It offers numerous advantages over traditional radio systems including wider operating ranges, high instantaneous bandwidth and increased operating freedom.

PPM SDR platforms integrate seamlessly with the company’s state-of-the-art RF over fibre solutions; offering a complete end-to-end solution.

 

Expanding PPM Systems Creates New Business Development Role

Paul Cotterill, Business Development Manager, PPM Systems

Continuing growth at PPM Systems has led to the creation of a further Business Development Manager role, which has been filled with the appointment of Paul Cotterill.

The new position will help PPM to continue its rapid growth and expanding product range, which includes software defined radio systems like Crossbow, the new SDR scanning/decoding unit for mission-critical electronic surveillance of the electromagnetic environment.

“We are delighted to have Paul on board. His extensive experience will enable him to play a valuable part in the growth of our company,” said Neil Seager, Director, PPM Systems.

With over 25 years of working in systems engineering management and technical sales, Paul’s experience is ideally suited to the company’s main markets, which are in the government and military/defence sectors.

An experienced project manager, he also has in-depth manufacturing and operational knowledge of satellite, microwave, military and broadcast transmission equipment.

Contact us on +44 (0) 1793 784389 or email sales@ppmsystems.com to speak to Paul now.

PPM Systems Becomes Regular Donor to Bomb Disposal Charity

The Felix Fund, a UK-based bomb disposal charity, will have its finances boosted thanks to PPM Systems.

The charity helps British military or SO15 (Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Unit) personnel who have conducted or assisted with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and search duties, by providing financial assistance and welfare support. It helps serving personnel, veterans and their dependents.

“We are massively grateful to PPM Systems for choosing to support our work with regular donations. This will enable us in helping more men and women from the bomb disposal and search community,” said Melanie Moughton, Felix Fund Chief Executive.

Expansion for Pulse Power and Measurement

Pulse Power and Measurement Ltd (PPM), based on Shrivenham Hundred Business Park near Swindon, is expanding into a further unit on the business park following rapid growth over the last two years.

The company, which was founded in 1994, has four business lines: PPM Systems, PPM PowerViaLite Communications and PPM Test. Further to growth across all four divisions, the company found itself requiring additional office space. The acquisition of Unit 77 met these requirements, with the property offering 2,000 sq. ft. of high quality offices, additional meeting rooms and further parking.

 

Martin Ryan, Managing Director at PPM, explained:

“The business has grown rapidly over the last two years and we needed more space to house the additional people and operations. We looked at potential new sites in the area but were happy to be able to co-locate our new facility on the same business park as our existing offices and manufacturing units.”

PPM expects to be settled in the new unit from the start of August. The existing PPM units (63-66) will continue to house the business’s manufacturing, production, test and stores areas, anechoic chamber, and existing offices and meeting rooms.

Bradley Forbes of Chartered Surveyors, Loveday said:

“We are delighted to have sourced a tenant for our client and wish PPM well with their expansion. It is encouraging to see businesses on Shrivenham Hundred thrive and expand.”

The PPM website can be visited at www.ppm.co.uk

 

SAS 260 Antennas from PPM Systems

SAS 260 antennaShrivenham-based PPM Systems has received a second order for SAS 260 antennas, for a European naval wideband electronic surveillance application.

One of the key customer requirements was a high resistance to vibration. These extremely durable dual band antennas can withstand shock and vibration up to 20 G and are specifically designed for deployments in demanding military and governmental applications in the harshest of environments. The dual band integral antennas are designed for a range of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) applications covering a wide range of receive signal levels and mounting options from land mobile to naval platforms.

Product features include dual low noise amplifiers, limiters and by-pass switches with antenna frequency ranges from 20 MHz -1 GHz in the low the band with 20 dB gain, and 1 GHz-6 GHz for high band with 28 dB gain. The SAS 218 version is also available with the same low band coverage and with an extended high band coverage from 1 GHz -18 GHz.

These antennas are omni-directional in azimuth and vertical polarisation with an operating temperature range of -32°C to +55°C, and are encased in a rugged radome .They are available in a wide range of radome colours.

“This repeat order is a continuing testament to the SAS 260’s exemplary performance and durability,” said Paul Cotterill, PPM Systems Business Development Manager.

PPM Systems provides a range of solutions and antennas for use within SIGINT, communications and jamming applications.

View product page for SAS-260-20.

 

Don’t miss PPM Systems at the Three Counties Defence and Security Expo

See us on stands 101 and 102!

3 Counties Defence and Security Expo (3CDSE) 2017PPM Systems will be exhibiting highly advanced military-grade products, such as the Rodent 4 remote antenna platform, at the Three Counties Defence & Security Expo (3CDSE) this May.

The Rodent 4 represents cutting-edge technology that provides a convenient way to deploy Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) antennas over hundreds of metres, allowing military personnel to remain at a safe distance from the targeted zone.

Further PPM Systems products being showcased include:

3CDSE is held at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern and is the region’s leading expo for defence and security. The event’s core premise is to provide a platform for military, suppliers and security agencies to identify common interests, solutions and opportunities. If your business relates to any of these categories, 3CDSE is an event not to be missed.

The PPM Systems team will be there to build mutually-beneficial business relationships in an enthusiastic environment, with PPM Systems products on display to bring ideas to life.

 

PPM Systems to Showcase RF over Fibre at DSEI

PPM Systems will be exhibiting at this year’s Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade show.

PPM Systems field deployable RF-over-fibre system and remote antenna optical platformOn display will be the UK company’s military RF over fibre system, which provides a way to deploy SIGINT antennas remotely, allowing personnel to remain a safe distance away. The optical transmission ensures immunity to interference from local RF sources.

Also featuring on the PPM Systems stand will be a range of magnetic and electric field antennas, the MAC Cellular Survey SDRx System and ViaLite’s commercial RF over fibre system.

PPM Systems specialises in military RF over fibre systems and custom RF design. Among its wide range of products are antennas and antenna systems for EW, SIGINT and comms; RF filtering and signal conditioning; RF spectrum receivers and signal generators; and RF over fibre radio extension (Forax).

At previous DSEI shows the company has shared a stand with supplier Antenna Research Associates (ARA), but both companies have their own stands this year, due to company growth and increased product ranges to showcase.

DSEI is taking place in ExCeL, London, from 12-15 September 2017 and PPM Systems will be on stand S3-242.

 

Revolutionising Long-Distance Tactical Radio Communications – HARC-TD

Comms range extension from the HARC-TD

Category: RF over Fibre Radio Extension

The HARC-TD (High Antennas for Radio Communications-Tethered Drone) caused a lot of excitement when its design was first announced. Now it is due to generate more with the announcement that it is available to order from PPM Systems.

A lightweight expeditionary system, the HARC-TD uses an electric drone to provide over 18 miles (30km) of radio range extension for any UHF Tactical Radio Waveform (225-450 MHz); adding dramatic network and communications range extension. Common waveforms used by tactical communicators in this band are SRW, ANW2 and AM/FM voice. They can be encrypted or clear-text. The HARC-TD system is waveform independent and optimised for network, data and voice communicators, operating equally well with military and civilian radios.

The system uses Lockheed Martin’s proven Indago drone. Electrically powered via its tether, the HARC-TD drone can fly indefinitely, for hours or days, 75 m (250 ft) above ground level. The drone is small with a low visual profile, quiet, safe to handle and portable. It can fly at service ceiling of up to 5500m (18,000 ft).

The system allows the radio to stay on the ground while the antenna is high overhead. Deployment is simple with the drone rapidly ascending to a user-set altitude where it remains on station.

The Indago drone has been modified for HARC-TD to allow for tethered flight. Ground power to the drone can be universal input AC, including from a generator or DC from a vehicle supply. If power is interrupted, the drone safely descends using its on-board backup battery.

PPM Systems is Syntonics’ UK distributor for all HARC products.

> View the HARC-TD datasheet
> View the Indago brochure
> RF over Fibre Radio Extension

 

PPM Recognised as Gold Investor in People

PPM building

PPM has been awarded the Investors in People Gold standard, joining the top 14% of accredited organisations across the UK who believe in realising the potential of their people.

Investors in People is the UK’s leading accreditation for business improvement through people management, and provides a wealth of resources for businesses to innovate, improve and grow, with a focus on good people making great business.

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate PPM on their Gold standard. Such a high level of accreditation is the sign of great people management practice, and demonstrates a commitment to staff development and shows an organisation committed to being the very best it can be. PPM should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Commenting on the award, Amair Khan, Business Development Manager at PPM, said: “I am very proud to be part of the organisation. It is a great team to work for, with staff that inspire each other to become leaders in their field. Working together as one team helps us achieve our global presence successfully. Thank you PPM for believing in your employees.”

 

More Information?

Telephone +44 (0) 1793 784389 or email: sales@ppmsystems.com

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