Astronics upgrades CTS-6000 tester with new functions for military tactical radios

Astronics has upgraded its CTS-6000 Tactical Radio Series communications test set for digital wideband military tactical radios.

The upgraded CTS-6000 tester is said to be the world’s first portable unit to test both analogue and digital functions of the most widely deployed military tactical radios.

It has been designed to test radio frequency (RF), wireless communications, and navigation systems.

Astronics Test Systems executive vice-president Brian Price said: “The drive toward digitally-enhanced tactical radios is a global trend, yet current fielded testers can only test analogue functions.

“For the first time, the upgraded CTS-6000 test solution provides frontline technicians with the ability to field test the complete functions of radios, such as the Harris AN/PRC-117G or the AN/PRC-152A. 

"It brings the comprehensive functionality of traditional depot-level testing directly to the fielded units, reducing expensive depot downtime and frustrating ‘no fault found’ results.”

The tester has been upgraded with error vector magnitude (EVM) and wideband streaming transmit (TX) and receive (RX) test functions, as well as a real-time RF burst trigger, a power analyser, a non-volatile memory (NVM) reader, and an avionics data loader.

"The upgraded CTS-6000 test solution provides frontline technicians with the ability to field test the complete functions of radios."

The tester's EVM function can be used to evaluate current and future multiband networking radios, as it tests beyond legacy analogue AM / FM / single-side-band (SSB) capabilities.

The wideband streaming TX and RX function was added to support joint tactical radio system (JTRS) waveforms and 802.11p, as well as commercial applications, such as automotive vehicle to everything (V2X), positive train control (PTC) and communication-based train control (CBTC).

The real-time RF burst trigger has been designed to support pulse capture and analysis, continuous signal monitoring and recording, while the power analyser enables pulse power measurement for distance measuring equipment (DME) and other avionics transponders.

The CTS-6000 tester's features an NVM terminal emulator for avionics test support with a line-replaceable unit (LRU) shop mode, as well as a data loader for avionics LRU original equipment manufacturer (OEM) firmware updates.

Image: Astronics Test Systems has added five new test functions to the CTS-6000 Series. Photo: courtesy of Astronics.