Design engineers working in military and aerospace applications are blessed/cursed with an array of choices in electronic components, devices, materials, design software, services, and test equipment. At one time it was easier: simply look for required parts on the Qualified Products List (QPL) to ensure that they were of a grade suitable for use in a military environment. But that was then, and today's designer must deal with cost pressures on every project. Often, modern designs call for militarygrade performance at commercial prices, and thus the growth of the commercialoff- the-shelf (COTS) concept of qualifying otherwise commercial-grade parts for military use.
This rebirth of the Defense Electronics title, in this supplemental/specialsection format, represents an effort at offering help to the modern design engineer working in military/aerospace applications. It will provide help in understanding new technologies, and how they compare to existing approaches, as well as help with design strategies in three main areas: RF/microwave electronics, embedded computing, and power electronics. It will provide a blend of contributed and staff-written articles, always depending upon the expertise of contributors and friends within the military and aerospace industries to provide the clearest explanations possible of the most advanced technologies and design techniques.
Companies competing for military and aerospace business are many around the world, as are the number of their new product introductions, and sorting through what is new and what is important is a ponderous task for a design engineer. As a way of helping, each issue of Defense Electronics will also filter through the hundreds of new products in each of the three main technology areas, along with the design software and test-equipment products that support each area, and present a combination of short takes and more detailed reviews of those products deemed to provide the most impact for military and aerospace design engineers.
Readers will notice more than a few links to web pages within each article. Because each installment of Defense Electronics is written to be read quickly, the links are for those wishing to go deeper, perhaps at another time. Like any electronic design, there is always room for improvement and refinement, and we welcome your comments on how to make the next edition better than the one before.