Military Embedded Systems



Hypersonic weapons, AI, and 5G funding outlined in FY 2022 defense budget request - Podcast

August 16, 2021

The Department of Defense has released the official budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, and it’s a big one. Among its hundreds of pages and multiple chapters, those interested can find information and statistics regarding where defense spending and funding may be headed come next year. However, looking through all of the dense material can be an arduous process, so Military Embedded Systems will help filter it a little. In the second episode of On the Radar, Emma Helfrich and John McHale discuss the first three of six total highlights pulled from the Innovation and Modernization chapter of the FY 2022 budget request and explain how they may influence the trajectory of military electronics. Topics covered include funding for science and technology research, advanced capability enablers, and space-based systems. With an overall goal of maintaining technological superiority over adversaries, Helfrich and McHale chat about how the DoD is preparing to innovate.


Deep dive on Pentek acquisition by Mercury Systems and radar/EW market trends - Podcast

July 28, 2021

This spring Mercury Systems acquired Pentek, a designer of FPGA single-board computers, data-acquisition boards, recording systems, and other products for radar, signals intelligence (SIGINT), and electronic warfare (EW) applications. In this podcast, Neal Austin, Vice President and General Manager of the Mixed Signal Business Unit within Mercury Systems and Rodger Hosking, co-founder and VP of Pentek Systems deep dive into the acquisition, where Pentek will fit within Mercury, and how the acquisition impacts the Mercury efforts within the Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Consortium. They also cover design trends in the radar and electronic warfare markets,  commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) procurement, the impact AI and 5G will have on military electronics, and tackle the engineering recruitment challenges defense companies face.


Discussing the trajectory of AI-powered military technology - Podcast

May 27, 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the hottest topics in modern technology, and defense electronics are no exception. In an industry where commercial automation has far outpaced that of the military, the Department of Defense (DoD) has found itself in a position that is neck and neck with the pace of adversaries. Base-patrolling robot dogs and algorithms designed to understand complex combat scenarios are currently in development, but that's just the beginning. In the debut episode of On the Radar, Emma Helfrich and John McHale of Military Embedded Systems discuss the current state of military AI and machine learning (ML), how these advancements are being financed, and the obstacles that stand in innovation's way. Also covered is the concept of defining the ethics of ML-powered systems and DoD research and development funding for AI.


Leveraging ARINC 818 for military avionics and sensor applications - Podcast

April 28, 2021

The ARINC 818 digital video interface and protocol standard is used throughout commercial and military cockpits for avionics display applications. As military video systems continue to increase in complexity in and out of the cockpit, for example in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensor systems, the demand for ARINC 818 solutions is growing. In this podcast, Tim Keller, Chief Operations Officer at Great River Technology discusses defines what ARINC 818 is, discusses common misconceptions about the standard, and describes its growing use in sensor applications and in training and simulation applications. Keller also details new ARINC 818 training for engineers and explores how the standard could potentially work within the Sensor Open Systems Architecture Technical Standard.


Short VPX and the military's demand for smaller form factors - Podcast

March 30, 2021

Reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements are pervasive throughout defense electronics platforms. Electronic footprints continue to shrink so much that traditional small form factors like 3U VPX or 3U CompactPCI are considered too big. So, it's not surprising that the VITA Standards Organization (VSO) is looking at new form factors, such as Short VPX. In this podcast, Jay Grandin, Vice President of Product Development at Annapolis Micro Systems discusses demand for small form factors, how Short VPX can meet that demand and how it fits into the Open VPX ecosystem. Grandin also explores what military applications would be best suited for the new standard and how it could potentially work within the Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) Technical Standard, of which version 1.0 is expected to be completed this year.


Capturing data from ultra-wide band radar systems - Podcast

February 25, 2021

Ultra-wide band radar systems are generating unprecedented amounts of data and require storage systems that can handle the high bandwidth and what can seem like information overload. In this podcast, Chris Tojeira, Recording Systems Director at Pentek discusses the Department of Defense's current ultrawideband radar requirements, how to capture signal data, PCI Express, FPGA advantages, and latency issues. He also takes a look at the future for signal recording and shares an old Commodore 64 story.  


PODCAST: Counter-UAV advancements pull from commercial innovation to dominate the spectrum - Podcast

October 15, 2020

Counter-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems are pivotal players on the electromagnetic spectrum. In this podcast, Emma Helfrich, guest host and associate editor with Military Embedded Systems, talks with Ryan Hurt, vice president of business development at Liteye Systems, to discuss the C-UAV systems that equip the U.S. Army. Helfrich and Hurt cover the Electronic Warfare (EW) capabilities, like radar and sensors, that power C-UAV systems and further the idea that innovation is dependent on data processing and intelligent algorithms to reduce the sensor-to-shooter timeline and protect the Army from aerial threats.


PODCAST: Navigating GPS-denied environments and the perfect magnetic sensor - Podcast

October 13, 2020

Modern battlefields present many complex challenges for Army soldiers, one of which is how to operate in GPS-denied environment. In this podcast, George Hsu, CTO, founder, and board member of PNI Sensor Corp., discusses the challenges in designing sensor solutions for warfighters in these environments like sensor stabilization for moving soldiers and power efficiencies as wel as how PNI leverages artificial intelligence (AI) for their sensor designs. He also describes the perfect magnetic sensor — that will provide longitude and latitude in any environment.