by Steve Walley, Vice President of Business Development, dB Control
MPD: How is your company addressing the many constraints that the pandemic has placed on business operations?
During the pandemic, dB Control has remained fully operational. During the initial shutdown, US Department of Defense Acquisition Chief Ellen Lord urged manufacturers in federal critical infrastructure sectors to proceed with business as usual. As we pivoted to a new normal of increased sanitization and safety, customers who needed high-power amplifiers (HPAs) for national security programs got top priority. In fact, there continues to be minimal delivery delays across our entire product suite. One of the constraints we predicted was a shortage of materials as smaller companies in the supply chain shut down. Fortunately, we prevented this through materials procurement that kept our supply chain afloat. As a team, dB Control has stayed strong. No dB Control employees have been laid off during this period of economic uncertainty. In fact, at a time when other companies are laying people off, we’ve kept hiring. And we implemented a second shift for social distancing and schedule flexibility. We’ll also continue to do our part for the community, the industry and our economy as a whole. For example, we started employee lunch delivery programs to help local restaurants stay in business.
MPD: The adoption of open architectures is accelerating in many markets, from wireless to defense. Do you feel your company and the RF and microwave industry as a whole benefit from this initiative?
When the US Navy, Army and Air Force publicly recognized Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) and Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) last year, it positively impacted the industry. The US Army’s Assistant Secretary Bruce Jette put it this way: “…imagine a laser weapon that automatically checks with friendly drones and aircraft to make sure they’re out of the path of the beam before it starts zapping an incoming missile. . .that kind of machine-to-machine exchange of data in near-real-time can only happen if all the vehicles and aircraft involved use compatible electronics.” Because open architecture systems allow military personnel to coordinate operations across multiple platforms during combat, the capabilities are transformative and beneficial for all. The dB Control engineering team is fluent in next-gen programs like Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) and is hard at work alongside major defense manufacturers to support new industry developments like this. One way we’ve upgraded our capabilities is to transition to very high-frequency bands that enable advanced extremely high-frequency (AEHF) communication. AEHF is resistant to military jamming and will be integral to secure tactical communication – especially for the machine-to-machine data exchange Jette mentions above. Even as tactical operations evolve, the goals remain the same: to combat enemy threats and preserve lives. dB Control has powered defense operations for three decades – and this legacy will continue as open architecture becomes a reality.