Military Embedded Systems

Sensors, bandwidth drive military systems design, says VITA exec


January 21, 2013

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

LONG BEACH, CA. Sensor technology and the need for greater bandwidth is driving military electronics designs, especially in radar and electronic warfare applications, said Ray Alderman, Executive Director of VITA. During the opening of Embedded Tech Trends (ETT) conference on board the Queen Mary, which is permanently anchored in Long Beach, CA, Alderman also added that sensor development will thrive despite the uncertainty of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) budget.

The only problem with increasing bandwidth on the sensors is the ability to stream data over the RF links "still sucks," Alderman said. "Therefore the focus going forward is to move the processor next to the sensor." This is where VPX technology will come in because it can leverage those high performance processors in rugged packages.

"What the processor and sensor technology enables us to do is absolutely incredible," he continued. "Every aircraft has a signature. When we hit an enemy aircraft with radar we can figure out where it came from, destroy that location, then figure out where it is going and eliminate that destination as well." Radar can also determine the mass of an aircraft and determine if they are carrying more than they should -- i.e. heavy weaponry, etc., Alderman added.