Data Recorders

3 Sample Configurations
Designed & Optimized
for Wideband Data Collection
& Playback


Maximizing Data Flow & Eliminating Bottlenecks

Delphi’s DAQStream data recorders deliver unprecedented high-speed signal collection capability for bandwidth-intensive sensor platforms and applications including: ELINT, SIGINT, ISR, Remote Sensing, and RF Spectrum Analysis. A combination of high sample rate, high sensitivity and continuous sample collection maximize the probability of intercept (POI) and identification for system operators. This paper describes three sample configurations that solve demanding data recording challenges using Delphi’s portfolio of high-performance COTS, embedded computing products.

The Delphi DAQStream’s industry-leading recording bandwidth is made possible by a unique set of high-bandwidth components, designed to maximize data flow and eliminate bottlenecks. Wideband spectrums digitized by Delphi’s Gigahertz (GHz) class of ADC modules are processed by the PC7 Virtex-7 based FPGA carriers, and streamed over PCIe Gen 3.0 channels into an optimized SSD RAID storage subsystem at up to 6 gigabytes per second (GB/s) per DAQStream carrier. Delphi offers a range of GHz class ADC modules for front-end sampling and matching DAC modules for RF playback capability.

Turnkey Systems Providing:

  • Recording and Playback at up to 6 GBytes/s Per Carrier for Multiple Hours
  • Continuous Recording with No Time Gaps
  • Recording of Samples at the Full Rate of Today’s Fastest ADCs
  • Scalable System Bandwidth
  • Clock and Trigger Synchronization of Multiple Channels

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Meeting the Modern Spectrum Collection Challenge

Today’s military intelligence analyst faces the challenge of an increasingly crowded signal environment, containing modern low probability of intercept (LPI) waveforms. Typical systems have a bandwidth of 500 MHz or less and require complex schemes to scan or multiplex a wide frequency spectrum in sub-band segments and employ strategies to revisit bands where signals of interest are detected for further data collection and analysis. These schemes require complex and expensive hardware and software, yet remain susceptible to LPI signals due to the effects of time gaps, frequency division, and limited SNR.

As an example, an ELINT system operator often requires the data recorder to collect raw I/Q sample data for off-line computer analysis and playback. They require increased system spectral bandwidth and sensitivity that together challenge data recording bandwidth capacity.

An example system with a 500 MHz IF bandwidth sampled with 1 GHz 8-bit ADCs requires 1 GB/s of raw sample recording bandwidth. The need to improve on this for increased POI, requires both faster sampling and more bits which increases the bandwidth load on the recording system. To illustrate, increasing the IF bandwidth to 1 GHz with I and Q sampling of 1.33 GHz at 12-bits requires 4 GB/s of raw sample recording bandwidth. Moving to a dual 2 GHz, 12-bit sampling system would require 6 GB/s of raw sample recording bandwidth. Additional requirements for these systems may include such functions as: programmable digital down-conversion, spectrum analysis, signal discrimination, demodulation, pulse detection, and pulse descriptor word generation. Performing such numerically intensive processing tasks, at GHz sampling rates, requires the latest in FPGA technology.

The Delphi DAQStream Solution

Delphi’s DAQStream wideband data recorders are able to deliver market leading high-speed recording and playback capability through the use of a carefully engineered set of hardware, firmware, software, and interconnect technologies integrated with a validated set of host and storage components. These Delphi products include:

  • PC7: PCIe Gen 3.0, Virtex-7 FPGA carriers
  • ADF: High-speed, high SNR ADC FMC modules
  • DAC: High-speed, DAC FMC Module
  • ADCView DS: GUI software for DAQStream system control & configuration
  • ADCStream: High-efficiency data flow control GUI software
  • ClkSync: Module for precise interchannel synchronization
  • DAQStor: Multi-Terabyte SSD JBOD array


DAQStream component sets are designed for easy expansion and replication to increase system bandwidth while maintaining sampling coherency across channels.

DAQStream System Configuration Examples

This section will describe three real-world examples of turnkey DAQStream configurations. Options range from a simple, lower cost single-band recording system, to a full-coverage multiband recording and playback system with signal processing capability. While this does not represent the full range of available options, it gives the system designer some examples of how they might configure Delphi’s DAQStream to meet their application requirements.