Tuesday, October 20, 2009

AOC International Symposium & Convention

I am at the 46th annual AOC International Symposium & Convention in DC and saw most of the microwave companies serving the EW world yesterday. The top priority is still IED defeat systems and the AOC show daily stated that more than 36,000 devices have been fielded (that number surprised me as IEDs continue to be the biggest challenge to saving lives in Iraq and Afghanistan). An estimated $628 million is expected to be spent on the JCREW program alone over the next 10 years. Battlefield SIGINT is also important but does not seem to have as much priority as IED defeat along with EW systems for UAVs. There is also a significant emphasis to update legacy protection on existing systems.

Many of the high performance component and test companies are represented here. Rohde & Schwarz, Agilent, Anritsu and Aeroflex were represented as well as components manufacturers such as Anaren, Empower, Aethercomm, Miteq, Microsemi, CPI, e2V, Werlatone, TRU/Sage, Teledyne, etc. Of course, the system/sub-systems companies such as Cobham, BAE, Northrup Grumman, Selex, Elt, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, DRS, EADS, ITT, Raytheon, etc. are the largest booths at AOC although Rohde & Schwarz also had a large prescence.

I am impressed at the increases in processing speed, bandwidth, memory, etc. that are achieved in the hardware/software each year improving the capabilities of the systems. Real time video, spectrum capture/analysis and data processing speeds are achieving unprecedented levels. Several systems we saw can capture radar signals, analyze them and send out countermeasures in real time.

I have to mention my friend Jim Fallon as he is receiving the Life Achievement Award at the AOC Annual Awards Luncheon. He ran the AOC Convention a few years ago and did a fantastic job. He has dedicated his career to bringing EW technology to the field to save lives. At M/A-COM he was instrumental in getting some of the first mobile IED defeat devices (Warlock Blue) manufactured and delivered to the field in record time to save more lives in the Iraqi War.

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