PPM Systems provides off the shelf and custom designs in the following areas:
• RF over fibre links for antenna remoting
• Antenna solutions
• Filter design
Applications range from a single remote antenna used by mobile troops in theatre up to multi-channel links for large dishfarms used for satellite monitoring. In additional to a comprehensive range of commercial and military off-the-shelf products, PPM Systems offers a rapid custom design service from prototype through to short-run production.
PPM Systems is part of Pulse Power and Measurement (PPM) Ltd.
RF Over Fibre Links for Military Applications
The transmission of RF signals over optical fibre allows secure, very low loss antenna links in defence, force protection and homeland security applications such as:
• VSAT / satellite communications
• surveillance & signal intelligence (SigInt)
• tactical radio links (VLF, HF, VHF, UHF, GSM, Tetra, P25)
• IED detection and force protection
• sonar & communication buoys
• secure network data centres (MSF/DCF, GPS, DVB-T, GSM, Tetra)
• OEM military equipment.
Advantages of RF Over Fibre
• wide bandwidth up to 4.2GHz
• link distances up to 50km without repeaters
• Inherently secure
• immunity to electrical interference, lightning and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strikes.
• rapid deployment, lightweight and man portable
• rugged and dependable.
Example military applications
Tactical HQ Remote Antennas
For mobile troops deploying radio antennas in operational environments such as a tactical HQ or forward operating base, the use of optical fibre means an antenna can be placed much further away without the need to co-locate encrypted assets outside the tactical area of responsibility (TAOR). An ideally placed antenna will provide better performance and improved safety due to the electromagnetic signature being reduced and more remote from the tactical HQ.
Monitoring Satellite Communications
Monitoring satellite-based communications traffic usually requires a ground station control centre located at every antenna site due to the limited range of copper RF feeds. However, the link distance possible using optical fibre means a single control centre can connect to multiple antenna sites within a 50km radius.
Towed Antenna Arrays
Submarines towing semi-floating antenna arrays can be at a greater depth whilst still listening for Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio signals . Since optical fibre is non-conducting, the submarine also benefits from a greater isolation from the huge electromagnetic pulse (EMP) caused by lightning or hostile action which could wipe out electronic equipment.
Network Data Centre Protection
The secure nature of RF over fibre technology means analogue signals such as GPS or MSF time references, VHF/UHF radio, cellular communications and satellite traffic can all be distributed whilst maintaining compliance with security standards.
Phased Array Radar Antennas
Phased array antennas are usually mounted high up on a ship in order to maximise the range of operation and require many connecting cables. Using optical fibre instead of bulky copper cabling means more efficient use of space, a reduction in top weight and a reduced vulnerability to EMP and lightning strikes.
Using an aerostat without compromising security
Radio communication in difficult and inhospitable terrain typically requires high power signals when using only ground-based radio systems. Using a radio re-broadcaster on an aerostat is not ideal because it requires encrypted assets in the air and increases deployment complexity.
An optical fibre link is light enough and long enough to connect directly to an aerostat mounted antenna, therefore allowing long-range radio contact in mountainous and urban environments without the need for encrypted assets outside the operating base.
PPM Systems Commercial Product Range
• Rack cards compatible with ViaLite 19” rack chassis (1RU and 3RU)
• Modules for simple links and integration into existing systems
• Indoor 19” rack equipment
• Weatherproof outdoor enclosures
• Network modules – SNMP, Ethernet and serial digital
• Redundancy modules – splitter and switch
Custom Products for Military and Defence
As well as commercial and military off-the-shelf (COTS/MOTS), PPM Systems offers fully customised solutions.
Example military solutions from PPM Systems:
• RF detection antenna link
• Helikite radio relay
• Bowman remote antenna rxtension
• Hand-held RF source for antenna testing in the field
• Compound Antennas
Rapid prototype to production
The time taken to deliver purpose-built or off-the-shelf equipment to the user is often a problem. PPM Systems provide a rapid timeline from prototype and evaluation to short-run production capability combined with a technical partnership with the customer.
PPM Systems Capabilities
When you work with PPM Systems for your military communications you will benefit from our experience in:
• RF system design
• ruggedised equipment including optical cable and connectivity
• specialist antennas and probes
• electromagnetically shielded equipment
• urgent operational requirement (UOR) experience
• rapid prototyping and short run production
• ISO9000 certification