Learning More About Military Electronics

Military electronics now triggers the automatic interest among high-frequency design engineers that the term "wireless communications" generated a decade earlier. During that time, many companies abandoned their military business efforts for wireless, leaving a smaller number of military component and subsystem suppliers. Those who remained in the business, however, found the flow of military business to be steady and reliable.

As this issue recognizes the importance of military electronics to the high-frequency industry, it is also fitting that it should mark the third gathering of the Military Electronics Show (MES) in the Baltimore Convention Center (Baltimore, MD, September 16-17). The MES has been a humble attempt to support the educational needs of engineers and engineering managers working in the military electronics field, and special thanks are due to the many dedicated professionals who agreed to make technical presentations at this year's event.

In particular, appreciation goes to the MES Keynote Speaker, Jim Tung, chief market development officer for The MathWorks. Jim's company, of course, is a well-known supplier of mathematical modeling software that is widely used by RF/microwave engineers (especially those working on antennas) to predict the field behavior and performance of complex structures. Jim's talk will detail the growing complexity in system development, in which a combination of controls, signal and image processing, communications circuitry, and other technologies are needed to satisfy sophisticated requirements.

Although the MES has been steadily growing in size from year to year, it is still a relatively small event in terms of electronic trade shows. But the philosophy that guides the technical conference and exhibition hall is sound: to provide continuing education about the latest technologies and engineering approaches impacting design engineers working in military electronics. Of course, this charter represents a wide expanse of technologies, since the electronic content of military systems includes everything from amplifiers and antennas to power supplies and video display screens. Covering that much technology in any single event would be a daunting task. But over time, as the MES grows, its technical organizers will make every effort to provide coverage of the many different electronic components and subsystems within modern and emerging military systems.

As for this year's MES, the program is small but strong (see the preview on p. 33), and hopefully will provide meaningful information to MES attendees.

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