Pentek Debuts Rugged IF Signal Recorder for Extreme Environments

Pentek IF Signal Recorder for Extreme Environments
  • Conduction-cooled ½ ATR chassis for extreme environments
  • Up to four channels of recording with SSD storage to NTFS RAID
  • Captures signals up to 700 MHz, with built-in digital down-conversion
  • SystemFlow GUI control panel for fast, intuitive operation
  • Remote system control and custom integration using SystemFlow API

Pentek, Inc., has announced the first of its Extreme Talon® recorder family: the Model RTX 2786 IF signal Recording and playback system, suitable for military and aerospace applications, UAVs and other severe temperature, shock and vibration environments. The configurable, multi-channel system features a compact, conduction-cooled ½ ATR chassis with up to 1.92 Terabytes of solid-state redundant array of independent disks (RAID) storage for sustained recording rates to 500 Mbytes/second. Pentek’s SystemFlow software allows turn-key operation through a graphical user interface, while the SystemFlow API allows for easy integration of the recording software into custom applications.

Signal recordings are stored as files in the native Windows new technology file system (NTFS) format for immediate use by PCs and applications without the need for post-recording file conversion. “As complete recording systems, the Extreme Talon recorders are ideal for capturing a range of wideband analog signals for communications and radar systems,” said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek. “The RTX 2786 extends the advanced recorder technology developed for our commercial Talon products to extreme operating environments.”

For the RTX 2786 chassis, Pentek selected MIL/AERO specialist Themis Computer. “Pentek’s data acquisition and recording expertise, joined with our experience in ruggedized chassis development and cooling, now provides engineers a proven data collection and playback system for the harshest operating conditions,” said Themis’ director, Business Development, Bill Ripley.

High Performance Operation
The RTX 2786 digitizes and records multiple analog input channels using 200 MHz 16-bit ADCs. The system can capture up to 80 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth for IF signals ranging up to 700 MHz.  Built in digital downconverters allow signals to be translated to baseband.  These signals can be reproduced at their original IF frequency using the optional 800 MHz 16-bit DAC with built-in digital upconversion. The recording system supports sustained recording rates to 500 Mbytes/second from up to four data channels.

Ruggedized Construction
By using conduction-cooled circuit boards and solid-state drives, the RTX 2786 exhibits high immunity to temperature, shock and vibration. The drive array capacity can be as large as 1.92 TB and supports RAID levels 0 or 1. An optional data transfer unit (DTU) allows a user to add storage and provides a mechanism for the quick and easy replacement of data drives in the field.

The recorder’s rugged ½ ATR 3U VPX chassis utilizes five D38999 circular connectors for 24 to 32 VDC power and digital I/O, and SMA connectors for analog inputs and outputs. Available I/O includes audio and VGA video, RS-232/422/485 serial, multiple USB 2.0 and dual Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Designed to be mounted on a cold plate for conduction cooling, the unit also has an optional shrouded heat sink for forced-air cooling.

Ease of Operation
The built-in Windows 7 Professional workstation with an Intel Core i7 processor gives the user total flexibility in routing data to various drives, networks and I/O channels. Also, the user can install post-processing and analysis tools on the system itself to operate on the recorded data. The RTX 2786 is fully supported with Pentek’s SystemFlow software for system control and turn-key operation. The software provides a graphical user interface with point-and-click configuration management and can store custom configurations for single-click setup. The software also includes a virtual oscilloscope and signal analyzer to monitor signals before, during and after data collection.

Remote Connectivity
The RTX 2786 can be controlled remotely through a network connection when operating in severe environments unsuitable for humans.

Pricing and Availability
The RTX 2786 starts at $89,995. Delivery is 12-16 weeks ARO.

About Pentek
Pentek, an ISO 9001:2008 certified company,  designs, manufactures and markets innovative COTS and rugged DSP boards and system recorders for commercial, government and military systems, including radar, communications, medical and industrial control applications. Pentek offers powerful VME, VPX, VXS, PMC, XMC, cPCI, PCI, PCIe and AMC boards for data acquisition, software radio and digital signal processing featuring Xilinx FPGAs. Pentek’s high-speed real-time recording systems are pre-configured and can be used in the lab or deployed in the field. Pentek equips all boards and recorder products with high-performance I/O including gigabit serial interfaces, powerful software development tools and offers strong DSP software support.

Pentek, Talon and SystemFlow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pentek, Inc. Brand or product names are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.

For access to the release and data sheets, please visit:

Contact Information


One Park Way
Upper Saddle River, NJ, 07458

tele: 201-818-5900
fax: 201-818-5904

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