Marrying Defence Market Needs With Commercial Solutions

Military embedded electronics and computing market users and suppliers recently convened at the first annual Military Embedded Electronics and Computing Conference (MEECC) staged in Long Beach, California.

Keynote speaker Brigadier General Ted F. Bowlds, deputy for acquisition, Aeronautical Systems Centre, US Air Force Material Command, highlighted recent changes in the procurement structure that is aimed at encouraging more efficient specification and purchasing processes of commercial components. In addition, he commented on key challenges for the future: diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages along with reduced market leverage on commercial electronics suppliers.

MEECC’s principle speaker, Ted J Glum, the director of Defence Microelectronics Activity, echoed General Bowlds’ comments and highlighted an ever increasing Department of Defence dependency on microelectronics for ‘smart’ weapon systems with extended system life cycles over 20 years, and the fact that the very dynamic market for electronic technology is difficult to predict. He emphasised that while commercially available electronics make new solutions possible, there are still many trends that oppose the needs of the defence market.

This inaugural MEECC event combined with the established CoolCon focusing on the cooling needs of the electronics industry. Information was exchanged between suppliers and users of electronics at the conference, with commercial technology suppliers introducing 14 new products that included components, systems and software. Several new products featured FPGAs to address the customisation needs of defence program applications.

Ray Alderman, executive director of VITA commented, “The Military Embedded Electronics and Computing Conference brings supply and demand elements together in a forum where they can share needs and challenges facing each in the demanding environmental requirements of various defense programs. This event was created to fill a void in communications between the government program offices and electronics suppliers.”

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TAGS: Defense
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