Form-Fit-Function Case Study
Problem: Orphaned Legacy Oscillator
The ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming pod utilizes a legacy tunable oscillator which is no longer manufactured and no vendors offer anything close in terms of form, fit or function.
The legacy product had mechanical tuning features to adjust both output frequency and amplitude. Moving a hairline antenna inside the cavity of the device accomplished this internally. Instability and inaccuracies plagued the system, especially given the service conditions of the airborne pod.
Solution: Technology Insertion
Syntonic Microwave implemented technology insertion with this product to counter both shortcomings.
First, we developed a digital synthesizer that would span the entire frequency range. To maintain Form-Fit-Function compatibility with the legacy environment, Syntonic Microwave developed a first-of-its-kind tuner. This tuner interpreted the turning of the adjustment screw as a digital word to tune the synthesizer. We used a similar implementation to adjust the amplitude; we used the mechanical screw adjustment to tune the digital step attentuator. In the end, Syntonic Microwave achieved Form-Fit-Function compatibility and the product benefited from totally modernized electronics.
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