Technology and Engineering
The HXI engineering team is staffed by former employees of New England millimeter wave (MMW) component companies and government contractors. These senior engineers have an average of 25 years experience, specifically in MMW technology and products. Among the products designed and built by these engineers in their careers are 35 GHz landing system transceivers, 35 and 94 GHz missile seekers, 77 GHz automotive radar front ends, 18 to 38 GHz point-to-point radio front ends, a complete 60 GHz radio (GigaLink®), radiometers, MilSATCOM upconverters and test sets, ELINT receivers and weather radar components. Military programs include TALS, SADARM, Longbow, MilStar, NESP, FAB-T, Patriot PAC-3 and many others.
The team draws from the company’s extensive circuit and standard catalog component library to address new requirements. When totally new designs are necessary, the engineers have ample CAD software packages available to assist them. ANSOFT Designer is primarily used for microwave and MMW circuit design, while AutoCAD and SolidWorks are the standard mechanical design packages used. PADS is used for printed circuit board layout. SysCalc is also used for simple cascade analysis of gain, noise figure and intermodulation products.
GaAs MMICs up to and including 94 GHz are used extensively throughout many of our standard products and custom sub-assemblies and we have close working relationships with many of the foundries that produce them. In the case of custom sub-assemblies, the MMICs are integrated with microstrip circuit elements such as mixers, filters and couplers to complete the MMW portions of the sub-assemblies.
The HXI engineering team also has expertise in more mature, and sometimes nearly lost, technology. Waveguide mixers, cavity Gunn oscillators and varactor multipliers, finline PIN switches and PIN attenuators, ferrite devices, waveguide couplers and combiners all still have a place in the market where fast prototyping and high performance are required. Most young engineers coming out of college today will never be exposed to this technology, which is still valued for its simplicity and the unique skill set required to design and manufacture these products. Many older military systems still in use today employ this technology. With military budgets for new systems running thin and many of the engineers and technicians that produced these components retired, employed elsewhere, etc., maintenance of these systems and their waveguide component content is becoming a concern. We have a number of personnel with expertise in this area, which prompted us to promote our repair and refurbishment services. We have handled the repair of components manufactured by a number of manufacturers, most of whom are no longer in business or who have dropped their MMW product lines.
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