Tackling SWaP-C challenges remains a key focus at AOCNews
December 11, 2023
60th AOC INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM & CONVENTION, NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. Slashing the size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) of embedded systems remains a key focus for the defense industry -- a focus that was evident during talks and conversations during the first day of the annual convention of the Association of Old Crows (AOC).
There are some additional wrinkles to the challenge in 2023: For example, one industry source noted that their customers were more concerned with getting more capability out of the existing footprint of their platform than with reducing the size.
Who is more interested in what aspect continues to depend heavily on the system or the requirements. For example, in the case above, the reason why a reduction in footprint was not as important to that particular customer is because the platform for which the system was intended already had a fixed footprint, so the updated demand was to more capability from that system.
Power supplier Vicor made SWaP-C challenges a focal point of its booth, advertising modular systems intended to address those very issues. The company says its power converters are capable of boosting power density (by volume) 2.5 times. Their power solutions are used in uncrewed systems, personnel-portable digital radios, and airborne equipment where space is at a premium.
Even in cases where there is more demand on improving capability rather than reducing size, companies must still think about five to 10 years down the road where the platforms they supply today may continue to shrink, one source said. So even though it is not a concern today, the company must plan for that eventuality.
In a recent pre-symposium interview with Military Embedded Systems, Jerome Patoux of Analog Devices said that SWaP-C remains a prominent focus for the industry, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Along with system interoperability between EW [electronic warfare] systems, sensors, and platforms, reduction in SWaP-C "will be critical for mission success," Patoux said.