Frequency Downconverter Technical Notes

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Novella SatComs frequency downconverters are based on an L-band to VHF (70 or 140MHz) module built on a single PCB. The latest frequency synthesis techniques and surface mount components are used to achieve wide coverage, frequency agility, very low phase noise and level of spurii. These modules may be packaged on their own, as L-Band downconverters, or together with SHF to L-band Block Downconverters (BDCs) as C, X or Ku-band downconverters.


L-band coverage of this card may be 950 to 1,750MHz or 950 to 2,150MHz. The standard coverage card is used for standard L, C, X or Ku-band downconverters. The extended coverage card may be used in conjunction with dual-band or extended coverage LNBs, or with two or more Ku to L-band block converters to make extended coverage Ku-band converters, or as a test loop translator.

The L-band card is usually configured for 70 or 140MHz IF, optionally both, selectable locally or remotely. Other IFs are possible, from 30 to around 700MHz. In addition it may be preset for spectrum preservation or spectrum inversion (from L-band to IF). Spectrum inversion is usually used with C-band and other spectrum invert LNBs or BDCs. If required and fitted spectrum inversion is selectable via front panel menus or via the remote interface.

This versatile card may be modified to cope with input frequencies below L-band, from around 200MHz to 900MHz, or above L-band, namely S-band from around 2GHz to 2.8GHz.

Two L-band downconverters, or a downconverter plus an upconverter may be assembled in a single 1U chassis, with independent controls of gain and frequency.

All downconverters are fitted with an RS485/422 and RS232 remote interface, selectable from front panel menus. The various available serial communication protocols offer 100% compatibility with most industry standard and/or other manufacturers' protocols.

Novella manufactures a range of L-band and SHF downconverters, usually X-band, with simultaneous VHF and UHF outputs, 70 ± 20MHz or 140 ± 40MHz, and 750 ± 250MHz. Some specialist X-band downconverters provide agile downconversion to 720 ± 300MHz or similar, with 1MHz step.

In addition Novella manufactures multi-band frequency downconverters with all combinations of C, X or Ku-band downlink segments.

All downconverters may be packaged in standard 1U 19" rack mountable chassis, or in outdoor IP67 ruggedised enclosures certified to defense standards for EMC (Mil. Std. 461) and shock and vibration (Mil. Std. 810). Applications include fixed and tactical ground stations.

A key consideration is reliability. Novella's production techniques and high level of circuit integration is reflected in a standard warranty period of 36 months which may be extended to 5 years for a nominal fee. All products are stressed for a minimum of 24 hours at 500C and 12 hours at -250C and must be fully functional at the end of each cycle.


Specialist Applications

Novella manufactures a wide range of COTS and bespoke frequency downconverters for TT&C (Telemetry Tracking & Control), Remote Sensing, Weather Forecasting, Earth Observation, Space Exploration, etc., at a variety of spectrum slots at S, X and Ka-bands, with standard IFs at 70MHz, 140MHz and 720MHz or other bespoke values in the VHF/UHF range.

Please consult our Sales Department quoting your requirements for a solution and a quotation.