Military Embedded Systems

Op-Eds

Comms

Ada Watch: Bringing Ada onto the battlefield - Blog

July 28, 2014
The growth in smartphones and tablets is radically changing the face of military technology. As in civilian life, the power of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) handheld devices is enabling fast, frontline access to systems that previously required larger, bulkier computers. For example, ruggedized phones and tablets now have the processing power to access mission-critical command and control and communication systems, while being portable enough to fit into a pocket. In these systems the original operating system (OS) and consumer-oriented applications are replaced by customized versions that include domain-specific software using proprietary and/or confidential algorithms.
Radar/EW

Warfare Evolution Blog: Moving toward next-generation warfare - Blog

June 24, 2014
Warfare Evolution Blog: For the moment, let's ignore sequestration, program terminations, funding reductions, and all the negative speculation concerning America's military budget. Let's look at where we are going, in the evolution of warfare. When we're done here, you will see that U.S. military budgets are just being refocused and the net effect will be some level of reduction, at least on the front-end. The reductions we observe today will become directed and focused spending in the near future, on advanced military systems with capabilities you never imagined.
Comms

BAM Blog: Authenticity versus reliability - Blog

June 11, 2014
Before & After Market (BAM) Blog. The military-aerospace market has seen a tremendous increase in the amount of companies with proposed solutions to determine the authenticity of a semiconductor component, including imaging and tagging solutions. There are I/O curve tracers. There is x-ray automation. There are companies with die image library examples of authenticity. That’s good news, right? Won’t this help eliminate counterfeit components from entering the supply chain? In some cases the answer is yes, but mostly the answer is no.
Unmanned

BAM Blog: Who is watching out for your repair needs? - Blog

May 21, 2014
Before & After Market (BAM) Blog: Most markets don’t realize a key product is in short supply until an OEM places an order that can’t be fulfilled. Shortages usually occur because of a spike in demand or something that interrupts production such as a natural disaster.
Comms

BAM Blog: Back to Basics: Why a legitimate Certificate of Conformance (C of C) matters - Blog

April 23, 2014
Before & AfterMarket (BAM) Blog: In simple terms, a Certificate of Conformance -- commonly referred to as the ‘”C of C” -- is a document put into place to assure that the product being procured, and ultimately used in an application, meets a specific set of standards and regulations. In the semiconductor industry, the C of C is distributed mostly with military-grade components, and allows the end user to prove that the devices are authentic. Unfortunately, there is a large gap in the acquisition process relating to the C of C, which in turn also leads to a gap in the procurement of fully-authorized components.
Comms

BAM Blog: long life applications require high-rel components - Blog

April 09, 2014
Before & After Market (BAM) Blog: Before you begin diving into this blog piece, take a moment to step out of your comfort zone and into the shoes of a warfighter on the frontlines in a battle. This specific person you have become has been using mission-critical equipment that must operate under some of the most severe conditions in their current environment, including operating in 100+ degree temperatures for eight or more hours each day. In this moment you realize just how much you rely on the proper functionality of your equipment, as you cannot afford to waste any time fixing defects because it puts your life at risk. These types of scenarios need to be considered every time the procurement of mission-critical, high-reliability (high-rel) devices takes place.
Radar/EW

Embedded Vanguard Blog: Optimizing deployed system design begins with dialogue - Blog

March 27, 2014
Today, defense and aerospace system integrators are under increasing schedule and budget pressure. While funding for new programs is harder to come by, the technical requirements for deployed systems continues to increase as platforms become more digitally connected and sensor rich. One frequently overlooked strategy that can significantly aid a system integrator’s efforts to develop an optimal system solution, especially when confronted with space, weight and power (SWaP) constraints, is to engage COTS hardware vendors early in their design process.
Comms

Reviewing DMSMS 2013: Collaboration brings new beginnings - Blog

March 25, 2014
Hurricane Isaac’s interruption of Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) 2012 and subsequent rescheduling instigated the pairing of DMSMS with the Defense Manufacturing Conference (DMC) for the 2013 event, located in Kissimmee, FL and hosted by the Navy. Bringing together these two complementary aspects of Department of Defense (DoD) operations created a unique opportunity for raising cross-disciplinary collaborations. Looking back, the pairing of DMSMS and DMC is a natural progression. The overlap of the two conferences provided a logical platform for discussion around balancing affordability and obsolescence risk amongst active defense programs: a threat currently facing every facet of the military's manufacturing and sustainment mission.
Comms

BAM BLOG: De-mystifying semiconductor IP - Blog

March 19, 2014
Before & After Market (BAM) Blog: Nowadays, it’s called IP. Decades ago, it was just called software. By either name, it is the programming inside a chip that makes the chip unique. Software/IP is also a big factor in product lifecycle management (PLM).
Comms

BAM Blog: chip makers respond to mil-spec market pressures - Blog

February 24, 2014
Before & AfterMarket (BAM) Blog: The military market is renowned for developing and implementing the most advanced technology available. However, a device that’s central to most of this technology – the semiconductor – is lagging in the military-market design space.
Comms

BAM Blog: How packaging issues accelerate EOL - Blog

February 06, 2014
Before & AfterMarket (BAM) Blog: Nobody likes to be duped. Anyone who has ever bought a “designer” handbag on the street at a huge discount quickly figures out the deal was too good to be true. Something that looked genuine on the outside turns out to be fake.
Comms

BAM BLOG: When buying based on cost doesn?t make sense - Blog

January 15, 2014
Before & AfterMarket (BAM) Blog: Most of the public debate about onshore versus offshore manufacturing has to do with the cost of production and domestic-market competitiveness. But in many cases, the debate should not be exclusively about cost – it should be about trust.
Avionics

BAM Blog: obsoleted semiconductors and DO-254 - Blog

December 18, 2013
Before and Aftermarket (BAM) Blog: As semiconductors become more and more complex, guaranteeing that they can still function correctly in safety-critical applications is proving increasingly difficult; and in many cases, system testing to assure correct operation under all foreseeable equipment operating conditions is often impossible. The avionics industry has recognized this problem and introduced guidelines for manufacturers to follow to overcome the testing dilemma.
Avionics

BAM Blog: heads up on components availability for heads-up displays - Blog

November 27, 2013
BEFORE & AFTER MARKET (BAM) BLOG: Jet fighters and the family car will have several things in common in the near future. When a disruptive technology is developed, prior generations of similar technologies are significantly impacted. In the consumer market, customers can generally adopt new technologies rapidly if the price point is right. Conversely, higher-value equipment with long operating life times does not have this luxury. Manufacturers of prior generations of military, space, and aerospace equipment may find their supply chain disrupted as cost-conscious vendors adapt to a more volatile market cycle.
From The Editor

John Rynearson named first VITA Hall of Fame inductee - Blog

November 20, 2013
John Rynearson, technical director of VITA, is the first person to be inducted into the newly created VITA Technologies Hall of Fame. The news took him by pleasant surprise, announced during today’s VITA Standards Organization (VSO) meeting in Scottsdale, AZ, in front of his friends and peers in the industry. After the announcement was given by John McHale, editorial director of Military Embedded Systems magazine, the room filled with applause and congratulations.