Aftermarket parts a promising business for rad-hard suppliers


John Keller
Editor in Chief
Click here to enlarge image

Prospects for a softening market for large military and aerospace programs such as the Army Future Combat System and Joint Strike Fighter are on a lot of minds these days.

Although some worry about how a potential slowdown in big-program spending might influence electronics and electro-optics suppliers, the emerging delays and budget cutbacks in civil and defense space programs are enhancing the market for obsolescent electronic components that are radiation hardened to withstand naturally occurring radiation in orbits around the Earth.

Companies such as Aeroflex Colorado Springs in Colorado Springs, Colo., Intersil in Palm Bay, Fla., and BAE Systems in Manassas, Va., are making a good living from supplying radiation-hardened parts not only for future satellite and manned space programs, but also and especially for upgrades to existing systems that are launch time or may see program stretchouts because of cutbacks in future systems.

“We are seeing obsolescence issues in rad-hard discrete logic in the space industry,” explains Anthony Jordan, director of standard products at Aeroflex. “Designers are asking for redesigned old parts and meeting documentation, whether it is an SMD or data sheet. There is an opportunity for us because we are not exiting these markets.”

SMD stands for standard microcircuit drawing, and is a standard administered by the U.S. Defense Supply Center Columbus in Columbus, Ohio.

Other companies also are seeing opportunities by continuing or restarting production of obsolescent electronic devices that are radiation hardened for space.

The BAE Systems Space Systems and Electronics segment in Manassas, Va., has restarted production of a 256K programmable read-only memory (PROM) device that is pin-for-pin form, fit, and function compatible with the original device, says Tim Scott, national sales manager for space components at BAE Systems.

BAE experts are using the device’s original oxide-nitride-oxide antifuse technology, yet are fabricating the latest PROMs on the company’s new 150- nanometer rad-hard bulk CMOS line. The company is delivering flight-qualified devices, Scott says.

Likewise, Intersil engineers have redesigned an existing rad-hard analog switch, to be followed sometime next year by a rad-hard fast comparator for satellite-based data acquisition, says Thomas Marshall, Intersil’s product marketing managers for space products.

Aeroflex’s Jordan points to delays in new space programs such as the Future Imagery Architecture (FIA) as primary reasons that aftermarket electronics parts for space are providing such lucrative opportunities.

The FIA is a U.S. National Reconnaissance Office project to build the next-generation imagery satellite system with more capable imagery satellites than are currently on orbit. The program is to use available small satellite technology, and give intelligence analysts a capability for which they have long been clamoring.

“The mission is way behind, and the assets we have on orbit today are getting a little long in the tooth,” Jordan explains. “The intelligence community is scrambling to get those assets updated; they want to rebuild and replace these assets.”

Some crucial intelligence satellites, he says, are near the end of their lifecycles and in danger of running out of fuel. When that happens, satellites simply die, fall out of orbit, and burn up on re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Other planned satellite-related programs also are in jeopardy or are facing close scrutiny on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate, for example, reportedly are asking for justification for the transition from the Joint Network Node (JNN) to the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) to before it can proceed, and are questioning its immediate necessity.

“The legacy and obsolescence market has blossomed over the past year, and our legacy market has been strong for the past three years,” Jordan says. “I’m cautiously optimistic that this market will remain strong.”

It isn’t just the space market, however, that is fueling aftermarket component sales, he points out. This could broaden opportunities for legacy parts beyond the rad-hard supplier base.

“We thought the migration from 5-volt to 3-volt technology would take place faster than it has, but 5-volt is still around,” Jordan says.

Everyone knows that military systems specifiers will always have a burning desire for more capability. The problem these days, increasingly, is finding the money to pay for ever-increasing capability.

The high costs, long development cycles, and potential political ramifications of bringing new systems online will continue to make upgrading existing systems attractive-and fuel demand for aftermarket components.


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


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

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...

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...

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 ...

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...

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...

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...

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...

XChange3100 | 6U VPX 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch with Optional Layer 2 Switching and Layer 3 Routing Management Support

The XChange3100 is a conduction- or air-cooled, 6U OpenVPX™ 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch module. Th...

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

GiGa Concept Inc

Manufactures patented fiber-optic mode control using multimode fibers from 50/125 to 400/440 Patented fiber-optic po...

United Electronic Industries Inc

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

Intersil

Specializes in the design and manufacture of high performance analog semiconductors, Products include amplifiers, ana...

Martin, Froeschner & Associates

The ultimate in velocity measurement, the Mark IV-3000 all-Fiber Doppler Velocity Interferometer (VISAR) never needs ...

Reynard Corp

Manufactures custom precision optical components and thin-film coatings 0.2–50 µm (UV to far-IR) to demanding specifi...

Active Silicon Inc

Designs and manufactures frame grabbers and embedded vision systems in PCI express, PCI/104-express, PMC, cPCI and C...

Streamline Circuits Corp

Streamline Circuits is a leading provider of high quality printed circuit boards. Streamline Circuits is committed to...

Electronic Development Labs Inc (EDL)

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

Powell Electronics

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

PTC

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

Press Releases

CURTISS-WRIGHT AWARDED CONTRACT BY SIERRA NEVADA CORPORATION

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has received a contract from Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to supply its small form factor ...

Innovative Integration Announces the FMC-Servo

Camarillo, CA June 19, 2015, Innovative Integration, a trusted supplier of signal processing and data acquisition hardware and software solutions, today announced the FMC-S...

METADATA SUPPORT ENHANCES INDUSTRY-LEADING HD VIDEO MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FROM CURTISS-WRIGHT

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has further enhanced its innovative VRD1 high definition (HD) video management system (VMS) w...

Webcasts

Harsh Environment Protection for Advanced Electronics and Components

This webinar will offer an opportunity to learn more about ultra-thin Parylene conformal coatings – how they are applied, applications they protect today, and the properties and benefits they offer, includin...

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:

Latest from the Paris Air Show

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

June 2015
Volume 26, Issue 6
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