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With typical HF projects requiring up to 10-layer FR4 boards that comply to strict performance goals in both the analog and digital domain, BAE Systems’ engineers require advanced tools and design systems for the successful development of the OTHR subsystems.
BAE Systems recent Advanced Digital HF Radar Receiver project, with a concept-to-completion time of just 6 months, involved the development of five multilayer boards featuring high-performance linear amplifiers and RF filters, high-speed A/D converters plus Gigabyte Ethernet and USB2 I/O services. Featuring SMT devices on both sides of the boards along with the complex DC subsystems required to meet receiver performance goals, developing the high-density board designs required high levels of engineering expertise plus a powerful and comprehensively-featured PCB development system.
Since its inception around six years ago, the BAE Systems HF radar development group has used Altium Designer* for board development, progressing through an upgrade path to its current Altium Designer 6 licences. The resulting increase in features and performance of the design solution during this time has kept BAE Systems’ engineers at the forefront of board design technology and given them the capabilities needed to develop the highly sophisticated board designs required to enhance the OTHR system.
Further to this, Altium Designer’s unified board-level design capabilities, such as powerful Signal Integrity analysis, differential pair support and automated FPGA pin optimization, has improved project time frames while ensuring that designs perform as expected early in the development cycle. In an environment where cutting-edge performance is a core design criteria, Altium Designer’s unified design solution provides BAE Systems with the sophisticated board development capabilities required to meet its goals.
BAE Systems’ engineers successfully completed the complex Advanced Digital HF Radar Receiver within the allotted time-fame where its advanced features and high RF/data performance were then ready to extend the capabilities of the OTHR system. During the project development and transition path to Altium Designer 6, Altium’s convenient web-based training played a crucial role in bringing the engineers up to speed quickly. When additional help was required, the engineers appreciated the expertise and fast response of Altium’s world-class support services. By progressively upgrading to Altium Designer 6, BAE Systems has ensured that its electronics design and board development capabilities have kept pace with the increasing demands of the cutting-edge OTHR projects.
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