Product Spotlight: Novator Solutions’ HUGIN-304DF and HUGIN-4000

Novator Solutions’ HUGIN-304DF supports vehicle-mounted and dismounted tactical communications intelligence gathering. The company is planning to enhance this system with new adornments to assist emitter geolocation.

In this new Armada column, we profile two of Novator Solution’s products, its HUGIN-304DF and HUGIN-4000 COMINT systems.

Novator Solutions’ HUGIN-304DF is a tactical Communications Intelligence (COMINT) system while the HUGIN-4000 is a COMINT receiver. The HUGIN-304DF covers a 20 megahertz/MHz to 530MHz waveband, with an optional extension up to six gigahertz. Each of the equipment’s four individual tuners offers 80MHz of instantaneous bandwidth. 64 channels can be used to monitor, listen and record clear analogue push-to-talk communications traffic using Frequency, Amplitude or Single Sideband Modulation (FM, AM and SSB). A Direction-Finding (DF) processor automatically computes lines of bearing for active interceptions. The system can be vehicle installed or used in a dismounted configuration. Bearing accuracy is 1.5 degree RMS (Route Mean Square) for very high frequency signals and 2.5 degrees RMS (three degrees maximum) for ultra high frequency signals. The HUGIN-304DF is controlled with a standard laptop or personal computer using the Windows operating system which also performs processing and represents collected and process data to the user.

Carsten Watolla is Novator Solutions’ department manager for spectral data analysis. He says that the HUGIN-304DF “can be installed inside any vehicle with a twelve-volt direct current plug” to power the system. “You don’t need to prepare the vehicle up front apart from mounting direction-finding antennas on the roof with hooks and straps. The system’s collection and GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) antennas are magnetic.” The HUGIN-304DF can be removed from the vehicle and be ready for dismounted operations in circa five minutes. The equipment monitors up to 60 channels which can be allocated to any of the HUGIN-304DF’s frequencies. “Any activity on these 60 frequencies will automatically be recorded,” says Mr. Watolla. By using this approach “you can play back other interceptions you have recorded in near real time.”

Although the apparatus is primarily tasked with direction-finding, the process of driving the vehicle carrying the HUGIN-304DF enables the geolocation of signals. Mr. Watolla says the company will add networked DF capabilities to the HUGIN-304DF’s architecture to facilitate geolocation. This additional function could be available by the end of 2025 and will take the form of a software enhancement. Beyond vehicle installations, Novator Solutions is looking at expanding HUGIN-304DF installation onto small boats and helicopters.


While the HUGIN-304DF is used in the field, the HUGIN-4000 is mainly employed for strategic-level COMINT. The equipment is designed for use at fixed locations, or on airborne and/or naval platforms, where space is at a premium, but where lots of monitoring channels are needed Covering a waveband of two megahertz to six gigahertz, the HUGIN-4000 hosts up to twelve radio frequency input channels. Each channel has 80MHz of instantaneous bandwidth. In addition, up to 6,144 Digital Down Conversion (DDC) channels are available. Each DDC is configurable around several parameters like centre frequency and bandwidth. The output of these channels can be configured as demodulated or in-phase/quadrature data. The HUGIN-4000 can demodulate AM, FM, SSB and continuous wave signals.

Mr. Watolla says that the signal processing capabilities of the HUGIN-4000 have recently been enhanced to improve dynamic performance. Additional modernisations in the offing include phase coherent applications for direction finding along with digital demodulation approaches. Both these new adornments should be available in the next five years: “The more we can reduce the quantity of data the HUGIN-4000 needs to work with, the easier the system is to manage.”

Novator Solutions has won NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) customers in the military and intelligence domains. Mr. Watolla says that there is also significant interest in these products, and other Novator Solutions offerings, in the Asia-Pacific region. To this end, one of the key attractions of the company’s systems is that they are free from United States’ International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) strictures.

Novator Solutions’ HUGIN-4000 is optimised for strategic-level COMINT collection and analysis. The product is ITAR-free and is being enhanced to improve its dynamic performance.

by Dr. Thomas Withington