Excerpt from a chilling interview between the editorial director of ‘MIlitary Embedded Systems’ and MACOM’s vice president of strategy…
(MACOM Technology Solutions is a developer and producer of radio, microwave, and millimeter wave semiconductor devices and components)
"The U.S. military relies more and more on sophisticated radar and electronic warfare (EW) systems to maintain strategic advantage in peace and in wartime. This also means more demand for RF and microwave technology, a demand that is growing faster than the military market itself, says Doug Carlson, Vice President of Strategy for MACOM. In the following Q & A he discusses this market trend as well as the impact of Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology on military radar systems, how commercial manufacturing practices are lowering the life cycle costs of military semiconductors, and how the defense industry needs to do a better job of recruiting young engineering talent.
MCHALE REPORT: Looking forward, what disruptive technology/innovation will be a game changer in the military radar world? Predict the future.
CARLSON: What will have the most profound influence in the active antenna market is 5G telecommunications. If you start looking at active areas where people employ next-gen telecom networks they are using phased array antennas at many different frequencies. Given the economies of scale with the larger commercial market, innovation in phased array technology for the military will be available a much lower cost than if the military funded this development on its own.
In the past with phased arrays the military only essentially played with technology it owned. Now with this technology being adapted by commercial applications, learning cycles are shortened, costs come down more rapidly, and things change more quickly. It starts with active antenna solutions transitioning beyond the military to civil communications, then to the consumer market. "