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Model SX-5421
Multi-Channel Communications Processor


  • Satellite Uplink and Downlink Data Processing
  • Range Data Code Conversion and Clock Regeneration
  • PCM Code Conversion To/From Common Formats
  • SGLS, USB, STDN Format Conversion
  • Signal Level Conversion and Conditioning
  • Integrated Programmable Multi-Channel BER Test
  • Product and Flight Payload Integration, Simulation, Testing

The SX-5421 Multi-Purpose Communications Processor (MPCP) combines a state-of-the-art data communications signal conversion and processing capability with a simple user interface to format, re-format, and prepare serial synchronous signals for both uplink command processing and downlink telemetry recovery. An advanced, digital implementation provides for the small form and fit while fully satisfying applications requiring ruggedized packaging, minimum power consumption, and a highly reliable stand-alone non-PC based platform. The design supports a multitude of standard and custom digital formats for Satellite and ARTM Range use.

The SX-5421 MPCP is commonly used in applications requiring format conversion of data streams either before transmission or during reception. Data generation, coding/decoding, scrambling/descrambling and BER testing can be driven from a variety of external digital inputs or via internal pattern generation sources.

The SX-5421 can be used in legacy systems where discrete signal processing elements are common and may require connecting equipment with dissimilar electrical and formatting interfaces.

The SX-5421 continues the field success record of the earlier SX-4221 MPCP and is based around the UCP-4000 engine. This provides programmable capabilities via a pair of high speed Field Programmable Gate Array’s (FPGAs) and a Digital Signal Processor (DSP). By installing unique programming the same basic design has been utilized for data encoding, modulation, demodulation/bit-synchronization, data decoding, and other general purpose signal and data processing applications.

The practical design of the SX-5421 MPCP also supports link test and verification applications. A single SX-5421 can replace multiple Bit Error Rate Testers (BERTs) in one small, simple-to-use unit allowing quick and accurate setup and testing without in-depth system knowledge.

Additionally, up to 32 Configuration Profiles can be stored with user-defined link names and recalled with a single command, simplifying fast and accurate configuration changes.

The firmware-intensive implementation of the SX-5421 readily accommodates custom features and signal processing tasks. Using the latest generation digital signal processing techniques often allows upgrades via firmware changes, even for previously fielded systems.

The SX-5421 is not based on a PC platform, avoiding the need for 3rd Party Operating Systems and hard drives and reducing the need for system patches and IT security concerns.

The SX-5421 MPCP is implemented in an industry standard 2U, 19 inch rack mountable chassis and provides full status and control capabilities. Controllable selections are accessible via an optional front-panel display or remotely via an RS-232 serial and 10/100baseT Ethernet. An optional GPIB interface is available for legacy system requirements. Remote control via the Ethernet LAN allows a common Java/Web brower GUI to setup and manage the units.

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Compact 2U chassis not requiring 3rd party Operating System or hard drive for increased reliability and security


Key Features

  • Up to 8 Independent Channels per Chassis
  • Conversion Between Most Common Satellite Command and ARTM Range PCM Data Formats
  • Integrated Solution Replaces PN Code Generator, BERT and Hours of Calibration
  • Data Encoders and Decoders for IRIG 106, PCM Conversion, and Scrambling
  • Forward and Reverse Conversions
  • Optional Convolutional Encoding/Decoding
  • Data Scramble/Randomize and Descramble/Derandomize
  • Compact 2U chassis without 3rd party Operating System or Hard Drive for increased reliability and security
  • Remote Control and Management via Web Browser GUI




Data Inputs

2 TTL Data/Clocks: 50 bps to 50 Mbps

2 Differential Data/Clocks: 50 bps to 50 Mbps

1 Analog Input

2 Internal Digital Pattern Generators

2 Internal Clock Generators (With Outputs)

Internal Analog Waveform Generator


Coding Formats


NRZ - Mark (NRZ-M), Space (NRZ-S), Level (NRZ-L)

BIØ - Mark (BIØ-M), Space (BIØ-S), Level (BIØ-L)


Bypass, Rate 1/2, or Rate 3/4 (Punctured)

Constraint Length 7, Industry Standard Polynomials

G1/G2, G1/-G2, G2/G1, -G2/G1 Symbol Ordering

Dual Encoder Mode for Quad Modulations


Bypass, Intelsat (V.36), or CCITT (V.35)


Primary RF Output


1400-2600 MHz Continuously Tunable

Frequency Resolution: 10 Hz

Output Level: +10 to -60 dBm

Step Size: 1 dB

Spurious: >-50 dBc (typical)

Phase Noise: <-85 dBHz at 10 KHz offset

Programmable Sweep and Frequency Decay:

Sweep Range: Up to ±50 MHz

Sweep/Decay Rate: 10 Hz to 1 MHz/sec.

Step Size: 10 Hz

Doppler Offset and Simulation: ±500 KHz


Secondary RF Output (Optional)


1400-2400 MHz Continuously Tunable

Characteristics: Identical to Primary RF Output

Modulation Options:

Unmodulated CW

Modulated with Primary Waveform

Output Level: +10 to -60 dBm

Step Size: 1 dB

Spurious: >-74 dBc (typical)


Supported Waveforms


Phase Shift Keyed (PSK)

Frequency Shift Keyed (FSK)

Amplitude Shift Keyed (ASK)


Phase Modulation (PM)

Frequency Modulation (FM)

Amplitude Modulation (AM)




Others: Consult Factory


PM or PSK Waveform Specifications


Analog Modes: External In, Digital Modulator In

Shaping: Phase Transition over 0 to 100% of Baud Period

Modulation Rates: 50 sps to 25 Msps or Up to 12 MHz Analog Up to 50 Msps optional

Mod Indices: 0 to 180 degrees for DPM

Adjustable I/Q power ratios for A or UQPSK


FM or FSK Waveform Specifications

Digital Mode: Binary FSK

Analog Modes: External In, Digital Modulator In

Modulation Rates: 100 sps to 12 Mbps or Up to 12 MHz Analog

Deviation: 200 Hz to 12 MHz


AM or ASK Waveform Specif cations

Digital Mode: Binary ASK or OOK

Analog Modes: External In, Digital Modulator In

Modulation Rates: 100 sps to 10Msps or Up to 10 MHz Analog

Mod Index: 0.1 to 100% in .1% increments


ARTM Waveform Specifications

Modulation Types:

ARTM Tier 0 (PCM/FM) to 25 M bit/s

ARTM Tier I (SOQPSK) to 50 M bit/s, 25 M baud/s

ARTM Tier II (Multi-H CPM) to 50 M bit/s, 25 M baud/s

Modulation Characteristics:

Premodulation Filtering per IRIG 106


Additional Features

Bit-Error-Rate Testing: Monitors Bit Error Rate for Returned Data of Internally Generated Data Patterns

AWGN Noise Generator: Adds Simulated AWGN to Output Waveform to Establish Accurate Eb/No or SNR Levels

Dual PN Code Generators for Industry Standard Patterns or Ranging Signal Simulation

Bit-Synchronizer: Auto-baud detect to adapt shaped waveform and/or Modulation Indicies


Remote Status/Control Specifications

Serial RS-232, 10/100baseT (GPIB Optional)

Commands: Control Over All Configurable Parameters

Status: Lock, Self-Test, Detailed Operational Information


Other Specifications

Chassis: 19" Rack Mountable, 2U Height, 20" Depth


1 Type N for Primary RF Output

1 Type N for Secondary RF Output (Option)

2 BNCs for Monitor Ports (Front Panel)

8 BNCs For Data/Clock Inputs/Outputs

1 25 PIN D for Differential Data/Clock Inputs/Outputs

2 BNCs for Analog Input/Output

1 BNC for External Reference Input (Option)

1 BNC for Internal Reference Output (Option)

1 9 PIN D for Remote Status/Control

RJ-45 for 10/100baseT

Standard 3 Prong Male Primary Power Input

Primary Power: 120 VAC (+/- 10%) 50-60 Hz


-25° TO 60° C Operational

-45° TO +65° C Storage

* All specifications subject to change without notice or obligation to retrofit. Consult factory for custom options and/or alternate specifications



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