Carbon Lifeform

My-Konsult’s new Aster-IVCC pod was on display during the EW Europe exhibition and conference. The company has employed carbon fibre in the pod’s design to lighten weight. (Thomas Withington)

By Dr. Thomas Withington, EW Europe, Stockholm – My-Konsult unveiled a new version of Astor-IV electronic warfare training pod at EW Europe.

The company has employed carbon fibre in a new version of its Astor-IV Electronic Warfare (EW) training pod. A mock-up was displayed on the firm’s stand during the EW Europe conference and exhibition being held in Stockholm on 14 May and 15 May.

The baseline Astor-IV pod has been in service supporting EW training in Sweden for several years. The pod is also in use with a number of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) members.

The new Aster-IV pod, dubbed the Aster-IVCC because of its carbon fibre construction, promises significant weight savings for aircraft, compared to the legacy apparatus: “Less weight equals less fuel which equals less cost, and more time in the air,” a company official said.

Like the Aster-IV, the new pod is intended to equip a wide array of aircraft including fighters and business jets used for EW training.

My-Konsult has migrated the same electronics architecture used in the Aster-IV into the Aster-IVCC. Company officials added that customers with existing pods can convert these into Aster-IVCC pods once these are available.

The Aster-IV’s architecture allows the user to replicate a wide array of electromagnetic threats. Its architecture employs software defined radio and digital radio frequency memory techniques. This avoids the need for frequency up/down converters which can lengthen reaction times. Instead, the pod uses separate generators for each waveband which allows it to transmit a variety of simulated jamming waveforms across all bands simultaneously.

Training missions supported by the pod include escort and stand-off jamming, and self-protection jamming. Additionally, pod can be used for self-protection and be employed as a tactical jammer, radar warning receiver and an electronic support measure. The Aster-IV can gather electronic intelligence and simulate threats across a two megahertz to 18GHz waveband.

My-Konsult continued that the Astor-IVCC still has some developmental work to complete, although officials are confident that it should be available for procurement within the next five years.

by Dr. Thomas Withington