Extracting Space from Aerospace & Defense By Dale Robinette, CEO, EPIQ Space
When you consider the $195 billion1 global space business, one would think the revenue would merit tracking this industry segment on its own. Satellite Manufacturing Revenue was estimated to be approximately $15.7 billion2 in 2013. Read More...
FROM WHERE WE SIT
Will OpenRFM Shake Up the Microwave Industry? By Barry Manz
Throughout the history of the RF and microwave industry there has never been a form factor standardizing the electromechanical, software, control plane, and thermal interfaces used by integrated microwave assemblies (IMAs) employed in defense systems. Rather, every system has been built to meet the requirements of a specific system, which may be but probably isn’t compatible with any other system. It’s simply the way the industry has always responded to requests from subcontractors that in turn must meet the physical, electrical, and RF requirements of prime contractors. Read More...
CURRENT ISSUE PRODUCTS
Band Reject Filter Series Higher frequency band reject (notch) filters are designed to operate over the frequency range of .01 to 28 GHz. These filters are characterized by having the reverse properties of band pass filters and are offered in multiple topologies. Available in compact sizes. RLC Electronics
SP6T RF Switch JSW6-33DR+ is a medium power reflective SP6T RF switch, with reflective short on output ports in the off condition. Made using Silicon-on-Insulator process, it has very high IP3, a built-in CMOS driver and negative voltage generator. Mini-Circuits
Group Delay Equalized Bandpass Filter Part number 2903 is a group delayed equalized elliptic type bandpass filter that has a typical 1 dB bandwidth of 94 MHz and a typical 60 dB bandwidth of 171 MHz. Insertion loss is <2 dB and group delay variation from 110 to 170 MHz is <3nsec. KR Electronics
Absorptive Low Pass Filter Model AF9350 is a UHF, low pass filter that covers the 10 to 500 MHz band and has an average power rating of 400W CW. It incurs a rejection of 45 dB minimum at the 750 to 3000 MHz band, and power rating of 25W CW from 501 to 5000 MHz. Werlatone
LTE Band 14 Ceramic Duplexer This high performance LTE ceramic duplexer was designed and built for use in public safety communication and commercial cellular applications. It operates in Band 14 and offers low insertion loss and high isolation to enable clear communications in the LTE network. Networks International
Suffice it to say that the last 18 months have not been the best of times for the defense industry, as partisan politics played havoc with the industry's future funding. As this is written, less than two months remain to the presidential election and sequestration of funds to the tune of $1.2 trillion remains in limbo. Half of that amount is scheduled to be automatically hacked from the defense budget over a period of 10 years. These two events will together play a major role in determining the future of the defense industry not just in the next few years but for a decade or more.
Not surprisingly, prime contractors have been preparing for the worst, especially those responsible for programs that are low hanging fruit for the chopper. However, the good news is that Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) may have a better chance of surviving in this environment than more contentious programs whose viability is more easily questioned. Electronic warfare and radar in particular are generally recognized as essential for all services including the Army for the first time in many years.
Nevertheless, with Republicans and Democrats eyeing each other across the aisle with nary a moderate among them, virtually anything is possible regardless of who wins the election. On the face of it, the Republicans have staunchly defended defense spending and have effectively removed it from any potential cuts. But talk is cheap in electioneering and when it comes time to make decisions, even they may waver.
If President Obama is elected to a second term, prospects for the defense industry are a lot less certain, and defense cuts are certainly not “off the table” in the mindset of the Democratic Party. Obama has not thus far demonstrated any zeal for gutting the country's defenses and doing so would be both politically unsavory as companies throughout the country provide either hardware, software, or services to DoD -- and most polls indicate most people want a robust military.
In any event, the country’s massive debt and budget deficits will require politically unpopular decisions. Equally important is the fact that until there is some level of certainty among defense prime contractors about the future of defense, they are likely to delay any major decisions. That certainly does not bode well for the RF and microwave industry, which counts on a reasonable level of consistency to remain healthy. With any luck, after the dust settles somewhat in February 2012, there may be some level of relief.
Barry Manz is a contributing editor to Microwave Product Digesting can be reached at email@example.com.
•The Design of Ultra Narrowband Amplifiers Using Small-Signal Varactor Upconverters This paper presents a method of realizing tunable microwave amplifiers with ultra narrow bandwidths that can be less than 0.5% by the use of a varactor up-converter (UC). Planar Monolithics
•Directivity and VSWR Measurements Return loss and VSWR measurements are complicated by the finite performance of the directional device used to measure the reflected power. The only accurate and convenient way to make return loss measurements is with a well matched high directivity directional coupler or bridge. Marki Microwave
•Switch Solutions for Systems with Low PIM Requirements Dow-Key Microwave has invested in R&D for new RF switch products designed specifically to reduce intermodulation (IM) in coaxial switches. Dow-Key Microwave
• How to Specify RF and Microwave Filters Covers cavity, ceramic, LC, crystal and helical filters. Anatech Electronics
• Mounting Considerations for Medium Power Surface-Mount RF Devices Covers all factors that must be considered when mounting SMT devices. TriQuint Semiconductor
• Biasing MMIC Amplifiers How to bias MMICs along with theory and techniques. Mini-Circuits