DIGITAL ELECTRONIC SUPPORT MEASURE - VirtuaLabs S.r.l - Radar & EW Systems Innovation

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Radar & EW Sytems Innovation


Radar & EW Sytems Innovation

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VirtuaLabs S.r.l.

1- Generals

DESM is a new advanced “all digital” ESM System based on the new technology of direct RF sampling, up to 18 GHz, capable of providing very advanced performances and, at the same time, such to be implemented in very few digital electronic modules, Software/Firmware controlled.
Therefore beside the high performances and reliability, DESM presents also a very good cost-effectiveness.
The DESM concept allows to implement a robust and miniaturized ESM System that can be installed in all platforms, including small UAV.
DESM is characterized by the following features:

 All digital with Direct RF Sampling
 Wide-open architecture to grant 100% Probability of Intercept (POI)
 Strong channellization with four wideband Digital Receivers (DRX)
 High Sensitivity over the whole RF range and over 360°
 High Dynamic Range
 High Traffic handling (Pulses and CW)
 Immunity against interferences thanks to the channellisation
 Very accurate and reliable emitter’s parameters measurements
(Amplitude, Frequency, DOA, PW, PRI, MOP Flag, ASP)
 Elint performances based on digital processing
(analysis, fingerprinting, identification, location, etc.)
 Low production cost
 Low weight, Volume and Power Consumption
 Simple Installation

2- DESM Architecture

For naval or ground applications, DESM is composed of two units: DFU (Direction Finding Unit) and DMU (Digital Management Unit) in addition to a Rugged PC or a Console for the Man Machine Interface.
DESM has the capability to instantaneously cover the whole frequency range of interest (e.g. 2 – 18 GHz) over 360 degrees of angular coverage and, at the same time, to perform emitters detection and measurements at high sensitivity, thanks to the exploitation of two main technologies:

 A proprietary Front-End, based on the direct RF sampling of signals received by the ESM array antennas in the RF band from 2 to 18 GHz. The direct RF sampling converts immediately RF signals into a stream of digital words (PDMs: Pulse Descriptor Messages).
 A proprietary Digital Receiving System, based on four DRX capable of processing the digitized signals to generate millions of extremely accurate PDMs at high rate. The generated PDMs are sent via a Fiber Optic dedicated link to DMU.

The DMU has the task to extract, from the stream of PDMs, the emitters present in the scenario, by means of proper de-interleaving algorithms and to provide the exhaustive set of their parameters and notations.

The strong channellization in the DRX system allows to solve the conflicting requirements of advanced ESM systems, i.e. to get at the same time both high Sensitivity and high POI.

Moreover, the channellisation allows both accurate measurements in a very high traffic conditions and a very high robustness to interferences in extreme conditions.

The emitters detected in the DMU are managed and presented in the most suitable way in the rugged PC display or in the ESM Console, for a correct operator information exploitation.

The reported emitters information are completed by the Identification data resulting from the comparison with the Identification Library which is available together a "Library Editor" for its compilation.


DESM provides a user friendly MMI (Man Machine Interface) on an external PC/Console. The MMI presentations of the detected emitters include modes like Tabular, Cartesian (Frequency/DOA), Tactical.

4- DESM applications

DESM concept has been already validated and a number of systems have been already produced and delivered to military Customers worldwide.

Due to its advanced performances, DESM is suitable for different applications, from Tactical ESM integrated in point defence systems to Area Surveillance systems, up to more strategic ELINT.

From this point of view, an important role is played by the DESM flexibility and the characteristic to be an "open system" able to be integrated in more complex systems together with a number of different sensors (Radars, ECM, Combat systems, or DESM networks).

5- DESM installation characteristics (Naval/Ground)

DESM: Power Consumption 850 W (115-220 Vac; 50-60 Hz)
DFU: Dimensions 414 x 435 x 435 mm
Weight 25 Kg (approx)
DMU: Dimensions 177 x 483 x 400 mm
Weight 15 Kg (approx)
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