Abracon | Advanced Electrical Components for Aerospace & Defense |…
Aerospace defense aircraft

Aerospace & Defense

Abracon is a global supplier of components used in many Aerospace and Defense. With deployments in Air, Naval, Land, Space, as well as Personnel Equipment the industry demands the highest performances and system reliability.


Designs need to be robust to sudden temperature changes, vibration, dust, and humidity. At the same time, the highest technical performances are paramount to meet military and aerospace standards. Applications include RADAR systems, radio communications, EW Systems, position & guidance, and surveillance & imaging.


NEL Frequency Control’s industry leading Ultra-Low Phase Noise OCXO and TCXO precision frequency control solutions are optimized for the highest performances in the smallest package sizes possible with non-ITAR restricted, RoHS compliant, MIL-Spec, and COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) solutions.

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Military radar

Radar Systems

RADAR systems use radio waves to detect the presence, location, and movement of objects. The time taken for radio signals to return is used to establish its distance. Object velocity can also be determined using multiple pulses and/or signal frequency shift (Doppler Shift). The development of advanced RADAR systems with multiple object detection, high spatial resolution, and other advanced features puts further emphasis on choosing a high-performance reference frequency source and other key components to deliver the highest performance

  • The O-CS8 Series Ultra-Low Phase Noise OCXOs are designed with excellent Ultra-Low-Phase Noise performance and SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power) in a 21x14x7.5mm package.

    Phase Noise and Frequency Stability can lead to errors in the distances measured. The Phase Noise is industry leading -180dBc/Hz at 100kHz, -135dBc/Hz @100Hz (max.), and -105dBc/Hz @10Hz (typ.). For less demanding applications the “Premium” (P) and “Standard” (L) is available meet the price-performance for your specific requirements.

    The devices meet MIL-STD-202 for mechanical shock and vibration and MIL-STD-883 for thermal shock supporting robust RADAR sub-systems.

  • The ASPIAIG Series shielded inductors are rated for an operating temperature range of -40 to +125C. EMI shielding is another key feature in EMI-sensitive applications where stray EMI needs to be minimized.

  • The ATFC Series thin film RF inductors are well-designed with high SRF, excellent Q, high stability, and extended temperature range (-45C to +85C) making them ideal for RF applications including the datalink present in RADAR and LIDAR systems.


Radio Communication Systems

Radio Communication Systems include air traffic control, two-way radio, mobile radio, satellite communication (SATCOM), satellite phones, and data transmission.

A high-quality and robust data and communication link is critical. For RF/MW (microwave) wireless systems Phase Noise can introduce errors leading to higher Bit Error Rate (BER), data package losses, and missed communications. For mission-critical applications having a well-designed radio system with high-performance components is essential. Abracon’s ultra-low phase noise OCXOs, power inductors, and RF inductors can help to meet your design goals with COTS (Commercial off-the-shelf) components.

Abracon radio communication device for secure and reliable datalink
  • Abracon’s ”W” Series crystals are ideal for the frequency referencing radio, communication, and datalink chipsets; the ultra-low plating capacitance and low-ESR design enables low power consumption and crucially excellent start-up performance even where the latest chipsets provide a lower crystal drive current. Extended operating temperatures of -40 to +105 and +125C are available for further reliable performance in challenging environments, and where safety is critical such as in the aerospace industry.

  • The ABM12W Series quartz crystal resonators are part of the Tiny But Mighty collection, as with other series in the collection, the devices are ultraminiature and lightweight making them ideal for reference timing in the aerospace industry where lightweight is a key consideration.

  • The O-CEx0S Series Precision Ultra-Low Phase Noise OCXO in 36x27mm “Europack”. The series is optimized for exceptional frequency stability and close-to-carrier phase noise making them ideal for high-end radio communication equipment. The frequency stability is world-leading for the package size at 1ppb (“19” variant) and 2ppb (“29” variant) over -10⁰C to 70⁰C. The close-to-carrier performance is also world-leading: -151 dBc/Hz @10Hz, -123dBc/Hz @1Hz, and -91 dBc/Hz @0.1Hz. The Phase Noise at 100kHz offset is -172dBc/Hz, and the ADEV (Allan Deviation) is equally extraordinary at 1.5E-13 (typical) at both 1Hz and 0.1Hz (offset).

    Having an ultra-low phase noise frequency source is particularly important in communication systems using modulation techniques such as Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) or Phase-Shift Keying (PSK).

  • The ARJ-199 and ARJ-139 Series RJ45 connectors with magnetics can support Power Over Ethernet (PoE++) with a high maximum PoE current capacity of 1000mA, allowing an efficient system to be realized as the Ethernet cable can provide the necessary power to the various aircraft sensors, saving precious weight at the same time. The devices are also rated for extended temperatures of -40 to +85C making them ideal for aerospace and defense applications.


A military radar system for aerospace and defense applications

Computing and Data Processing

Computing is used in many aerospace and defense applications. Signals and data are sent from sensors, imaging systems, and communication equipment to an onboard computer such as a Flight Computer for analysis and data interpretation. Other examples include image interpretation, signal processing, sensor fusion, analytics, and encryption. It is important to have a reliable and high-performance timing reference. Phase Noise can introduce errors leading to a higher Bit Error Rate (BER) which can affect the accuracy of the received data and overall reliability of any processing.

  • The O-CS8 Series Ultra-Low Phase-Noise HF (VC)OCXOs at 100MHz have exceptionally low Phase Noise -180dBc at 100kHz and -162dBc at 1kHz. Also, a high-performance Integrated Phase Jitter allowing high performance when frequency multiplied for high-speed applications. The result is exceptionally high reliability and low packet losses making them ideal for computing and data processing applications.


  • The ASPIAIG-Q Series high power density transportation inductors feature high-current and low-profile solutions for designs requiring high power rating, reliability, and wide operating temperature -55C to +155C. The parts meet the AEC-Q200 and PPAP standards.

  • Abracon’s ”W” Series quartz crystals are ideal for many applications in the aerospace and defense industry. The design is optimized for ultra-low plating capacitance and low-ESR resulting in high reliability and low power consumption. Applications examples include chipset frequency referencing used for flight control systems, satellite computing, video image processing, and military-grade computer systems.


Avionics

GNSS is the most often used method for aircraft navigation. This includes UAV/drone guidance, flight control systems, and autopilots. Ground navigation GNSS systems use “trilateration,” where the distances to three or more known reference points are used to determine the position. An alternative to GNSS, aircrafts can use an Inertial Navigation System (INS). These use multiple motion sensors such as accelerometers and rotation sensors to recognize the position relative to an initial reference point. The INS systems are immune to GNSS jamming, making them suitable for defense aircraft and equipment in GNSS-denied operations. Applications include Flight control systems, Flight Control computers (FCC), UAV/drone guidance, navigation instruments, and autopilot systems.

Avionics Control Solution with Abracon
  • The AST3TDA Series ultra-performance TCXOs deliver precision frequency stability of +/-50ppb, +/-100ppb, and +/-280ppb. The devices compensate for temperature changes effectively to achieve these performances. Extended operating temperature parts are available with options of -40C to +85C and -40C to +105C making them ideal for aircraft flight control systems.

  • The APAKM3513-SGL2 is a stacked patch antenna solution covering the GPS L1, L2 (military band) and L5 (precision band). The patch is circularly polarized to maximize the signal pick-up. It is 35.6 x 35.6 x 13.5mm for high performance. Operating temperatures of -40C to +85C, storage is -40C to +105C.

  • The AFS14A04-1575.42-T3 SAW filter is designed for the 1.575 GHz and 40MHz bandwidth making it ideal for GPS L1, Glonass, and BeiDou GNSS bands. The surface-mount device is exceptionally small and lightweight with 1.4 x 1.1 footprint and 0.7mm height. The Insertion Loss is low at 0.9dB, making it ideal as part of a GNSS RF Front End receiver circuit either in singular form or in two together for additional out-of-band rejection (OBR).


Power Inductors for Aerospace and Defense solutions with Abracon

Power Systems

Power supplies are used to convert power sources or stored energy into a form that is suitable for an electrical system. For most aerospace and defense applications, there are several design goals for power supplies. These include high reliability over a wide temperature range as a critical factor, robustness to high vibration, electromagnetic interference (e.g., MIL-STD-461 and MIL-STD-704), small size, lightweight, and high-power density. For power supplies such as DC-DC converters used as part of defense equipment, versatility is often a key criterion with the option of any number of standard output voltages such as 5V, 12V, 24V, 28V, and 48V.

  • The ASPIAIG-Q Series power inductors are well-suited for power supplies used for aerospace and defense applications. They are rated for a very wide temperature range of -55C to +155C (AEC-Q200 Grade 0 applications i.e. automotive under-the-bonnet applications), fully EMI-shielded design, soft saturation, low DCR, and high efficiency. All of these features enable a high-performance power supply / converter to be realized.


Imaging and Surveillance Systems

Imaging and Surveillance Systems can be in many forms such as air-based and space-based imaging cameras which use visible, thermal, spectral imaging camera systems to gain insights into targets and their movements. RADAR and LIDAR systems are also a type of imaging system which include a Time-of-Flight (ToF) element for depth and ranging. It is important to use high-quality oscillators for example Phase Noise can affect the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of the signal limiting performance in low-light and low-signal conditions.

LIDAR and RADAR systems rely on timing and phase accuracy to gain high spatial resolution, the increasing use of micro and nano swarm UAVs (SUAV and nUAV) drives the need for high-resolution countermeasures (C-UAV). 

Aircraft Camera for Aerospace and Defense
  • The O-CS8 Series Ultra-Low Phase-Noise HF OCXOs at 100MHz have industry-leading close-to-carrier phase noise. The phase noise is -151 dBc/Hz at 10Hz and -123dBc/Hz at 1Hz, and at frequencies exceptionally close to the carrier -91 dBc/Hz at 0.1Hz. The ADEV (Allan Deviation) is equally extraordinary at 1.5x 10-13 (typically) at both 1Hz and 0.1Hz (offset). Imaging systems with ultra-high spatial resolution and low-signal conditions can be realized.

  • The ClearClock® ultra-low jitter oscillators are ideal for applications involving image processing, video conversion, and vision systems. The high-speed processing of images requires an ultra-low-jitter reference clock to achieve very low data errors at high speed. Abracon’s ClearClock® products have been designed with ultra-low jitter performance in mind. They are an effective solution for FPGA frequency referencing. The AX3, AK2, AK5, and AK7 Series use a crystal operated at third-overtone available with industry-standard frequencies between 100MHz and 212.5MHz. The AX7 and AX5 Series have an integrated PLL (Phased Locked Loop) circuit resulting in availability at standard industry frequencies from 50MHz to 2.1GHz. Extended operating temperatures -40C to 85C are an option.

  • The ARJM11D7 Series is a high-performance RJ45 10/100/1G/5G single port with integrated magnetics for EMI suppression. EMI suppression is often important in many aerospace and defense applications. The solutions can be used for Ethernet communications between cameras and image processing systems, the high-speed capabilities make them ideal for high-speed systems. There is an option for an extended temperature range -of 40C to +85C.


Military grade wrist watch

Personnel Equipment

Personnel equipment includes asset tracking (GPS), military wearables (e.g., biosensors), secure radio, smart rifles, communication headsets, camera systems, computing equipment, honing sniper rifles, canine wearables, and other smaller-scale equipment. Robustness to vibration, mechanical shock, and wide temperature range is typically required.

  • The Tiny But Mighty Collection is Abracon’s family of ultra-compact RF, Timing and power passive components provide the smallest footprint while achieving a high functionality.

  • The ATXK-H Series 32.768kHz miniature TCXOs are designed specifically for connected wearables and compact personal equipment. They have ultra-small size at 2.15 x 1.35 x 1.1mm SMD with overall tolerances are +/-5.0ppm over -40 to +85C and +/-8.0ppm over -40 to +105C. This is an order of magnitude more stable than a crystal alone. The higher stability means operating with a lower duty-cycle (on to off ratio) is possible saving precious wireless power-on time enabling longer battery life and lower power consumption.

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Abracon Aerospace and Defense Products

Frequency Control and Timing Devices


Abracon’s “W” Series quartz crystals and oscillators are designed and manufactured for higher-reliability and low-power consumption as this is often critical in the Aerospace and Defense industry. The series boasts an exceptionally wide operating temperature of -40C to +125C together with ultra-low-plating capacitance, optimized ESR, and seam sealed for excellent reliability. For high-data rate applications such as RADAR, image processing, and communications the ClearClock® Series crystal oscillators are designed for ultra-low jitter performance resulting in exceptionally high reliability and very low data packet losses for secure connections and data processing.

RF and Antennas


Abracon has an extensive range of off-the-shelf RF and antenna solutions and custom design capabilities which are well-suited to the demands of the aerospace and defense applications. From external (IP67-rated) antenna solutions equipped with multi-band capabilities and wireless connectivity in a ready-to-use tuned enclosure, internal antenna solutions such as the OnBoard stamped metal antenna solutions, and Niche PCB embedded “magnetic-type” antenna solutions. The OnBoard solutions have the distinct advantage over traditional chip antenna solutions in that the overall PCB board space needed is less as periphery components can be mounted underneath the antenna itself. The Niche antenna results in a very lightweight solution as the antenna is embedded inside your PCB itself on a royalty-fee basis. Both the OnBoard and Niche solutions are designed, tested, and optimized by Abracon’s dedicated ProAnt engineering team in Umeå, Sweden.

Inductors and Connectivity



Abracon’s ASPIAIG Series are automotive-grade power inductors. The products support AEC-Q200 grade 0 or 1 (-55C to +155C or -40C +125C) they are suitable for “under the bonnet” automotive applications as a primary market. The result is the products are both off-the-shelf (COTS), cost-effective, and with excellent availability. The molded inductor us a coil pressed and encapsulated by different types of iron powder mixes. In contrast to traditional wirewound inductors, the molded inductor offers better efficiency, shielding, and power density when compared to all other inductors. This makes the ASPIAIG an ideal solution for Aerospace and Defense applications such as power modules, RADAR/LIDAR systems and other critical applications. In addition, Common-Mode-Chokes (CMCs) are often a key component in EMI suppression electronics design, something which is highly valuable in both aerospace and defense deployments, where challenging EM environments can be present.

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Aerospace and Defense Market Trends

A&D Application A&D Trends
Radar Systems Radar is a key technology in Aerospace and Defense, justifying R&D spending to drive advancements. There is a trend towards higher precision, longer range, more targets, more effective noise filtration, etc. In addition, many advanced features are now becoming commonplace in modern radar systems, including doppler, multiband, multifunctional, and passive radar systems, multiple target detection, and electrically scanning antenna arrays.
Communications and Datalinks Software Defined Radio (SDR) is increasingly being used where the software is utilized to define radio characteristics such as radio frequency instead of hardware. This gives more flexibility as the radio can be easily changed or updated by modifying the software. UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or drones are increasing in use. The UAVs often require communication with a controller, follow pre-set waypoints, or have AI capabilities for airborne decision-making.
Computing and Data Processing Sensor Fusion: The demand for higher-resolution imagery (visible, infrared, radar, etc.) with multiple sensors drives the need for higher computing speed and reliability. The use of “sensor fusion” further creates a need for high-performance computing. AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities make use of a high volume of information for UAV decision-making and object identification.
Avionics Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS): GNSS is prone to errors due to the changes in the atmosphere (ionosphere) and radio interference. This has led to the development of a complimentary system known as a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS). The system checks the accuracy of the GNSS system using several ground-based reference points with precisely known longitude, latitude, and elevation. The deviations from the correct GNSS signals are then sent to geostationary satellites, which broadcast the corrected signals to SBAS-enabled GPS receivers.
Power Systems EMI specifications: The EMI specification (MIL-STD-704A) is a more stringent version of the MIL-STD-704 applicable to the aerospace and defense power supplies. In addition, airplane manufacturers may also introduce their own EMI specifications given the highly critical nature of the application. Other trends for power supplies in the Aerospace and Defense industry include higher power density, Switching Mode Power Supplies (SMPS) for higher power efficiency, and micro reactors (nuclear).
Imaging & Surveillance Systems AI (Artificial intelligence): AI software allows objects to be recognized and can used in combination with radar systems, visible, infrared, and ultrasonic imagery. Ground Surveillance radar with multiple functions for ballistics detection and tracking, air and space surveillance. Radar has multiple capabilities such as IFF (Identification, friend, or foe), FMCW (Frequency-modulated continuous-wave), and other functionalities.
Personnel Equipment Head-up displays trends for modern aircraft that have smart helmets and present information to the pilot highlighting targets and key information such as waypoints and local conditions.

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