Modular Block Converter Systems

C-Band, Ku-Band

The General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies Modular Block Converter (MBC) System eliminates downtime and maximizes performance and ease of repair by providing fully modular systems for up conversion or down conversion. Leveraging patented technology and field-proven architecture, all of the critical system components are hot-swappable without the removal of power and can be removed from the front of the chassis with the exception of the fan assembly which is accessible from the rear panel.

  • Hot-swappable, plug-in upconverter and downconverter modules
  • Dual, redundant, hot-swappable power supplies
  • Excellent frequency stability over temperature
  • Built-in monitoring of individual modules and overall system performance
  • Internal/external auto-switch 5 or 10 MHz reference

 

Hot-Swappable Architecture

The converters can be configured for single-thread operation or for 1:1 or 1:2 redundancy. In a redundant system, a backup converter can be switched in automatically or manually to replace a faulted unit; the faulted module may be removed and replaced while the others remain operational.
The system design leverages a blindmate backplane for front panel removal for converters, power supplies, logic card, and color touchscreen. The design enables fast and easy repair with continuous operation, achieving MTTR of less than 3 minutes.

Features

  • Front hot-swappable plug-in modules (RF, PS, touch screen, and logic card)
  • Available in stand-alone, 1:1 redundancy, and 1:2 redundancy configurations
  • Color touch-screen user interface
  • TCP/IP embedded page to monitor and control system functions, and send email alerts
  • Ethernet or Serial I/O M&C interface
  • Standard 19” rack panel, 3.5” high (2 RU), with 22” chassis slides; chassis is 24” deep

User Interface—Leading Edge Software

The MBC is equipped with a color touch-screen for local control along with a leading-edge TCP/IP embedded Web Page software package. The software can be configured for remote monitoring, while allowing virtual factory access to monitor the converter modules’ key performance parameters such as temperature, current, and voltage. The user interface features secure login with user privilege level controls.

Operating Functions

  • Monitors and controls two or three redundant RF modules of a single type in either a 1:1 (two module) or 1:2 (three module) configuration.
  • Monitors and controls one or two independent, single-thread modules.
  • Monitors the internal power supply modules for faults.
  • Front panel controls and status indicators
  • Ethernet Interface:
    • SNMPv1/2/3
    • HTTP (Web page)
    • Firmware Updates via secure protocol
  • RS-232/485/422 Serial Interface
  • Redundant Control Modes:
    • Auto Mode: A faulted RF module is automatically switched off line and replaced with the backup unit.
    • Manual Mode: Allows manual control over which unit is online, via the front panel, serial port, or network.
  • Converter modules feature an autoselection reference that automatically phase locks to an external 5 or 10 MHz reference when present, or uses its internal high stability reference when the external reference is not detected.
  • Built-in RF module monitoring & control capabilities:
    • Gain Adjust or attenuation control
    • External Reference Level
    • External Reference Frequency
    • Reference Phase Lock
    • LO Phase Lock
    • Module Current
    • Module Power-On Self-Test
    • Module Temperature

Auto-recovery and Sparing

  • The MBC senses loss-of-lock conditions and component failures to initiate switching to a redundant converter. Users have the capability of setting up alert emails, along with remote monitoring capability via embedded TCP/IP web status pages. Replacement of any component can be accomplished within minutes.
  • Sparing of the MBC is dependent upon the user.
  • Active components
    • Converter
    • Logic Board
    • Power Supply
    • Touchscreen
    • Fan Assembly

Cooling Fans

  • The MBC has two cooling fans mounted on an easy-to-replace fan assembly.

Specifications

RF Module Bands (C-Band)

Downconverters
Input LO Frequency Output Model
3.40-4.20 GHz 5.15 GHz 950-1750 MHz (inverted) DCDX
Upconverters
Input LO Frequency Output Model
950-1825 MHz 4.9 GHz 5.85-6.725 GHz UCBX

 

RF Module Bands (Ku-Band)

Downconverters
Input LO Frequency Output Model
10.70-11.75 GHz 9.75 GHz 950-2000 MHz DKFX
11.70-12.75 GHz 10.75 GHz 950-2000 MHz DKFX
Upconverters
Input LO Frequency Output Model
950-1700 MHz 12.80 GHz 13.75-14.50 GHz UKBX

 

Downconverter and Upconverter Module Performance

Parameter

Notes

Min.

Nom./Typ.+

Max.

Units

IF Input Power   -7 dBm
IF Input VSWR Ratio
Return Loss

14

1.5 :1
dB
RF Output VSWR

Ratio
Return Loss

19.1

 

1.25

:1
dB

LO Leakage     -50 dBm
Reference Input Frequency Auto Detect 5 or 10 MHz
Reference Input Power At module  -7.5 0 +75
dBm
Power Output at 1 dB Compression (P1 dB) RF Output, at max gain +15
+17
dBm
Third Order Output, Intercept Point (OIP3) RF Output, at max. gain +26
+27
dBm
Gain At max. gain setting 24 26 30 dB
Gain Step Resolution 0.5 dB
Adjustable Gain Range   25   dB
Gain Flatness Full band, at max. gain
Per 40 MHz, at max. gain

± 1
± 0.25
dB
Gain Stability Over temperature
Per week, constant temp.
Per week and over temp.

± 1.0
± 0.5
± 1.5

dB
In-Band Spurious Signal-related
Non-signal related
    -60
-70
dBc
dBm
Noise Figure
 At maximum gain    15  16  dB
Power
Voltage
Power
  12
20
  Vdc
W
Temperature Range
Operating
Storage
0
-40
  +50
+85
°C
°C

 

Reference Performance

Parameter

Notes

Min.

Nom./Typ.+

Max.

Units

Internal Reference Standard
Aging per day
Aging after 10 years
0 to +50 °C

  ±30
±1
±500
  ppb
ppb
ppb
External Reference Requirements
Frequency
Frequency Tolerance
Power Level
Impedance
Ref PLL Bandwidth
Ext. Ref. Phase Noise Req.


All subbands


At module


10 Hz Offset
100 Hz Offset
1 kHz Offset
10 kHz Offset




-10

5 or 10
±0.5

50







0

10
-105
-135
-145
-150

MHz
ppm
dBm
ohms
Hz
dBm/Hz
dBm/Hz
dBm/Hz
dBm/Hz

Modular Block Converter System Block Diagrams

Satcom - Modular Block Converter Systems Diagram

Modular Block Converter System Outline Drawing

Satcom - Modular Block Converter Systems Diagram

  • Features

    Hot-Swappable Architecture

    The converters can be configured for single-thread operation or for 1:1 or 1:2 redundancy. In a redundant system, a backup converter can be switched in automatically or manually to replace a faulted unit; the faulted module may be removed and replaced while the others remain operational.
    The system design leverages a blindmate backplane for front panel removal for converters, power supplies, logic card, and color touchscreen. The design enables fast and easy repair with continuous operation, achieving MTTR of less than 3 minutes.

    Features

    • Front hot-swappable plug-in modules (RF, PS, touch screen, and logic card)
    • Available in stand-alone, 1:1 redundancy, and 1:2 redundancy configurations
    • Color touch-screen user interface
    • TCP/IP embedded page to monitor and control system functions, and send email alerts
    • Ethernet or Serial I/O M&C interface
    • Standard 19” rack panel, 3.5” high (2 RU), with 22” chassis slides; chassis is 24” deep

    User Interface—Leading Edge Software

    The MBC is equipped with a color touch-screen for local control along with a leading-edge TCP/IP embedded Web Page software package. The software can be configured for remote monitoring, while allowing virtual factory access to monitor the converter modules’ key performance parameters such as temperature, current, and voltage. The user interface features secure login with user privilege level controls.

    Operating Functions

    • Monitors and controls two or three redundant RF modules of a single type in either a 1:1 (two module) or 1:2 (three module) configuration.
    • Monitors and controls one or two independent, single-thread modules.
    • Monitors the internal power supply modules for faults.
    • Front panel controls and status indicators
    • Ethernet Interface:
      • SNMPv1/2/3
      • HTTP (Web page)
      • Firmware Updates via secure protocol
    • RS-232/485/422 Serial Interface
    • Redundant Control Modes:
      • Auto Mode: A faulted RF module is automatically switched off line and replaced with the backup unit.
      • Manual Mode: Allows manual control over which unit is online, via the front panel, serial port, or network.
    • Converter modules feature an autoselection reference that automatically phase locks to an external 5 or 10 MHz reference when present, or uses its internal high stability reference when the external reference is not detected.
    • Built-in RF module monitoring & control capabilities:
      • Gain Adjust or attenuation control
      • External Reference Level
      • External Reference Frequency
      • Reference Phase Lock
      • LO Phase Lock
      • Module Current
      • Module Power-On Self-Test
      • Module Temperature

    Auto-recovery and Sparing

    • The MBC senses loss-of-lock conditions and component failures to initiate switching to a redundant converter. Users have the capability of setting up alert emails, along with remote monitoring capability via embedded TCP/IP web status pages. Replacement of any component can be accomplished within minutes.
    • Sparing of the MBC is dependent upon the user.
    • Active components
      • Converter
      • Logic Board
      • Power Supply
      • Touchscreen
      • Fan Assembly

    Cooling Fans

    • The MBC has two cooling fans mounted on an easy-to-replace fan assembly.
  • Specifications

    Specifications

    RF Module Bands (C-Band)

    Downconverters
    Input LO Frequency Output Model
    3.40-4.20 GHz 5.15 GHz 950-1750 MHz (inverted) DCDX
    Upconverters
    Input LO Frequency Output Model
    950-1825 MHz 4.9 GHz 5.85-6.725 GHz UCBX

     

    RF Module Bands (Ku-Band)

    Downconverters
    Input LO Frequency Output Model
    10.70-11.75 GHz 9.75 GHz 950-2000 MHz DKFX
    11.70-12.75 GHz 10.75 GHz 950-2000 MHz DKFX
    Upconverters
    Input LO Frequency Output Model
    950-1700 MHz 12.80 GHz 13.75-14.50 GHz UKBX

     

    Downconverter and Upconverter Module Performance

    Parameter

    Notes

    Min.

    Nom./Typ.+

    Max.

    Units

    IF Input Power   -7 dBm
    IF Input VSWR Ratio
    Return Loss

    14

    1.5 :1
    dB
    RF Output VSWR

    Ratio
    Return Loss

    19.1

     

    1.25

    :1
    dB

    LO Leakage     -50 dBm
    Reference Input Frequency Auto Detect 5 or 10 MHz
    Reference Input Power At module  -7.5 0 +75
    dBm
    Power Output at 1 dB Compression (P1 dB) RF Output, at max gain +15
    +17
    dBm
    Third Order Output, Intercept Point (OIP3) RF Output, at max. gain +26
    +27
    dBm
    Gain At max. gain setting 24 26 30 dB
    Gain Step Resolution 0.5 dB
    Adjustable Gain Range   25   dB
    Gain Flatness Full band, at max. gain
    Per 40 MHz, at max. gain

    ± 1
    ± 0.25
    dB
    Gain Stability Over temperature
    Per week, constant temp.
    Per week and over temp.

    ± 1.0
    ± 0.5
    ± 1.5

    dB
    In-Band Spurious Signal-related
    Non-signal related
        -60
    -70
    dBc
    dBm
    Noise Figure
     At maximum gain    15  16  dB
    Power
    Voltage
    Power
      12
    20
      Vdc
    W
    Temperature Range
    Operating
    Storage
    0
    -40
      +50
    +85
    °C
    °C

     

    Reference Performance

    Parameter

    Notes

    Min.

    Nom./Typ.+

    Max.

    Units

    Internal Reference Standard
    Aging per day
    Aging after 10 years
    0 to +50 °C

      ±30
    ±1
    ±500
      ppb
    ppb
    ppb
    External Reference Requirements
    Frequency
    Frequency Tolerance
    Power Level
    Impedance
    Ref PLL Bandwidth
    Ext. Ref. Phase Noise Req.


    All subbands


    At module


    10 Hz Offset
    100 Hz Offset
    1 kHz Offset
    10 kHz Offset




    -10

    5 or 10
    ±0.5

    50







    0

    10
    -105
    -135
    -145
    -150

    MHz
    ppm
    dBm
    ohms
    Hz
    dBm/Hz
    dBm/Hz
    dBm/Hz
    dBm/Hz
  • Diagrams

    Modular Block Converter System Block Diagrams

    Satcom - Modular Block Converter Systems Diagram

    Modular Block Converter System Outline Drawing

    Satcom - Modular Block Converter Systems Diagram

  • Literature
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