DSEI busy place for embedded electronics companiesBlog
September 15, 2023
LONDON. It's been four years since I was last here, having missed the first event post-COVID in 2021, but I found this year’s DSEI the best one I’ve attended in terms of activity among embedded electronics suppliers, success in terms of our daily newsletter from the show, and the most smooth experience I’ve ever had in terms of getting to and from the show each day.
For all our DSEI 2023 coverage please visit www.militaryembedded.com/dsei.
DSEI is not a platform-based show like say the Paris Air Show or one focused on a single branch of a defense force like the U.S. Army’s AUSA event. This week was about engineering and how hardware and software solutions can come together to create complex systems and platforms.
Pointing a large ground vehicle in the BAE Systems mammoth booth at DSEI, Luke Schreier, Senior Vice President & General Manager - Aerospace/Defense/Government Business Unit at NI, told me to think about all the complex hardware and software engineering and many components and systems that had to come together to make that platform deliver its capability. It’s so complex and almost of those engineering elements are represented at this event, he added
Schreier also noted that open architectures are going to enable such complexity to come together in future systems.
I agree and saw much interest in open architecture true and even commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology at the event. See my blog here about how modular open systems approach (MOSA) strategies and open architecture activity and adoption is growing in European defense applications.
When I speak of COTS I’m not just referring to COTS single-board computers or connectors, but whole radar systems. One company that many in the defense industry think is producing unique technology along these lines is Echodyne with their MESA radar system.
Traditional AESA radars could be very expensive to design and implement so the engineers at looked at ways to solve the cost problem while also improving the performance, Eben Frankenberg, Echodyne’s CEO & Co-founder told me at the show. The result was their MESA radar, which uses meta materials, he added. The materials are arranged so as to “steer radar energy from a much denser array without phase shifters, moving parts, or maintenance of any kind,” according to the Echodyne website.
The MESA radar uses commercial components such as signal processing solutions, Frankenberg noted. "We are a COTS Solution and also considered a dual-use product so do not fall under International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) restrictions."
Companies at DSEI using the MESA radar include Anduril and Chess Dynamics, who uses it for a counter-drone solution.
I’ll be divng more into the technology beyond Echodyne’s radar systems later this fall in a podcast with their CTO, Tom Driscoll. Stay tuned.