Spectrum sells SHARC technology to DOD for signals intelligence

WASHINGTON — Officials at the U.S. Department of Defense are using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) SHARC-based hardware and digital radio software from Spectrum Signal Processing in Burnaby, British Columbia, for a secret signal-intelligence program.

Aug 1st, 1999
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By John McHale

WASHINGTON — Officials at the U.S. Department of Defense are using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) SHARC-based hardware and digital radio software from Spectrum Signal Processing in Burnaby, British Columbia, for a secret signal-intelligence program.

Spectrum engineers are providing the company`s Darlington PCI board, which has two Analog Devices ADSP-2106x SHARC DSP processors running at 120 million floating point operations per second.

The device also has two SHARCPAC module sites, which enable the Darlington to integrate as many as 18 SHARC processors. Together, the SHARCs deliver aggregate performance of 2.16 billion floating point operations per second in one PCI slot.

Spectrum experts have also designed a new PCI card with six A-D converters, says Mike Radhanauth, manager of product marketing at Spectrum. Originally an A-D converter performed the analog to digital conversion functions; now they are farmed out to the PCI card that uses DSPs.

Radhanauth says he believes command applications are not the only ones that can benefit from this function. Any application that performs spectrum monitoring can benefit from the flexibility of a DSP chip that performs the functions of a downconverter, he says.

Spectrum`s software for the contract is the Digital Radio Wizard, which builds on the components of Spectrum`s software-development kits. The Wizard enables users to experiment with all the programmable features of digital radio modules, see the effects in real-time, capture data at selected stages of the processing, and produce hard-copy graphical output.

Operators can look at an application from a system level without knowing intimate details, Spectrum officials claim.

Spectrum officials have already shipped most of the hardware for the $2.3 million Defense Department contract, with the digital radio products to be shipped by the spring of 2000.

For more information on Spectrum Signal Processing contact Tanis MacSween by phone at 604-421-5422, by fax at 604-421-4229, by mail at #100-8525 Baxter Place, Burnaby, British, Columbia, Canada V5A 4V7, by e-mail at tanis_ macsween@spectrumsignal.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www. spectrumsignal.com.

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he Darlington PCI board from Spectrum Signal Processing is part of a digital radio that helps intelligence experts intercept and analyze enemy wireless communications.

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