IED detection and persistent surveillance are some of last remaining defense opportunities

THE MIL & AERO VIDEO BLOG, 29 Oct. 2012. IED detection -- or the ability to locate and neutralize roadside bombs before they're detonated -- and persistent surveillance are about the only promising areas of a U.S. defense budget that's looking more desolate by the day, as John Keller reports this week in the Military & Aerospace Electronics video blog.

Well, most of us know how tough things are right now in the aerospace and defense electronics business ... that is, unless your company has a track record in detecting improvised explosive devices -- or IEDs -- or in surveillance and reconnaissance.

IED detection -- or the ability to locate and neutralize roadside bombs before they're detonated -- and persistent surveillance are about the only promising areas of a U.S. defense budget that's looking more desolate by the day.

Now it stands to reason that business opportunities and contract awards from the Pentagon might be slow about now. We've got a presidential election next week, and two candidates with vastly different philosophies of how to manage the Department of Defense.

You can almost feel the tension, but the results of the election are beside the point; what we're seeing is a defense business that's in virtual suspended animation until we get some indication of how U.S. defense policy will move forward. The election results will be step-one, but until then no one's doing anything, or spending any money of consequence.

We have a sense of where precious defense dollars are going, however, and I suspect these trends to continue after the election, no matter who prevails. If we can consider recent solicitations and contracts as any kinds of signposts, then IED detection, and persistent surveillance, and to a lesser degree, unmanned vehicles are where it's at.

I need to give a word of caution here. The IED detection and surveillance business the Pentagon is conducting lately does not represent big dollars. What's going on really represents maintenance and incremental improvements in capability that's already out there.

Here's an example. The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization announced a market study last week to find companies able to build soldier-worn buried IED detectors that weigh less than 20 pounds. It's not that soldier-worn IED detectors don't already exist; they do. The Pentagon just wants this capability shrunk down so a foot soldier can wear it with all the other gear he needs to bring into the field.

Also this month the Naval Surface Warfare Center announced a program to develop a fast, mobile land mine detector for locating non-metallic buried explosives. That's a nice way of saying IEDs and other explosives that can hide from conventional metal detectors. What the Navy really wants is a hand-held device to help special operations forces detect and pinpoint unconventional explosive threats.

The common thread I'm seeing is small, lightweight technology that can detect IEDs quickly and accurately. No real surprise there. It's encouraging, however, that at least somebody in the Pentagon is spending some money.

DARPA is getting into the game, too, with a program called Methods for Explosive Detection at Standoff, or MEDS. This is an attempt to develop ways to detect bombs hidden in ... are you ready for this? ... "opaque media with high water content." That's government-speak for IEDs hidden in mud, meat, and -- believe it or not -- dead animals.

I guess we have an idea where the new IED threats are coming from.


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

XPedite7501 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled XMC Module

The XPedite7501 is a high-performance, low-power, XMC module based on the 5th generation Intel® C...

XPedite7530 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U CompactPCI Module

The XPedite7530 is a high-performance 3U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugge...

XPedite7570 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module

The XPedite7570 is a high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the 5th genera...

XCalibur4500 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U CompactPCI Module

The XCalibur4500 is a high-performance 6U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugg...

XPedite7572 | 5th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module with SecureCOTS™

The XPedite7572 is a secure and high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the...

XCalibur4501 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction-Cooled 6U CompactPCI Module

The XCalibur4501 is a high-performance 6U CompactPCI single board computer that is ideal for rugg...

XCalibur4540 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur4540 is a high-performance, 6U OpenVPX™, multiprocessing, single board computer that ...

Medusa VPX3424

The AcQ Inducom “Medusa”VPX3424 is a 3U OpenVPX™ Single Board Computer (SBC) featuring the T4240 ...

XPedite7470 | Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI SBC

The XPedite7470 is a high-performance, low-power, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the...

XPedite7472 | Intel® Core™ i7 Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI SBC with SecureCOTS™

The XPedite7472 is a secure and high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the...

Related Companies

AcQ Inducom

Develops and produces non-certified and certified high-tech modular hardware- and software solutions for on-board and...

United Electronic Industries Inc

UEI is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Con...

Advanced Conversion Technology Inc

ACT designs and manufactures, since 1981, an extensive range of AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies (switching, linear, ra...

JuiceBox Energy Inc

JuiceBox Energy develops, engineers and manufactures advanced energy storage systems for residential, government and ...

Electronic Development Labs Inc (EDL)

Since 1943, EDL has strived to provide quality products, outstanding customer service, and superior technical support...

PTC

PTC (Nasdaq: PTC) delivers technology solutions that transform the way companies create, operate and service their pr...

Powell Electronics

An authorized electronic component distributor and experts of military connectors, switches, sensors and relays. Trac...

Eureka Dry Tech

High reliability electronic components utilized in aerospace and defense, requires strict moisture controlled storage...

Germane Systems

Germane Systems designs and manufactures COTS-based rugged high performance computers, servers, and storage systems f...

Sensoray Co Inc

Specializing in the development of custom OEM embedded electronics for industrial, aerospace, defense, medical and se...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...

Webcasts

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

The Latest from Paris Air Show 2015

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

May 2015
Volume 26, Issue 5
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE