Editor at large

By Courtney Howard
Posted by Courtney E. Howard

Wow, upon writing the headline, a flood of fat jokes popped into my head, but I will fight the impulse (which is also a good dieting tactic). It just goes to show you: I should never write a blog on a Friday night .

I had an incredible week, traveling about Oregon visiting with knowledgeable, charismatic, and passionate executives at technology firms serving military and aerospace customers.

Here's where I went, who I saw, and what I learned (in a nutshell anyway):

FLIR -- David Strong, vice president of marketing, FLIR Government Systems, and Angel Bennett, a new hire for the company but a seasoned mil-aero veteran, treated me to a tour--sans camera phone. It is good that the receptionist requested my phone; I noted a few times when I would have wanted to snap a photo or two. Great stuff in forward-looking infrared, lasers, thermal imaging, and more.

Mentor Graphics
-- James Price, a marketing manager and all-around man in demand at Mentor Graphics, set aside some time to sit down with me and discuss electronic design automation, product lifecycle management, requirements tracking, and more. The company's IESF, a free mil-aero forum, takes place in little more than a week in Dallas. Price also announced an impressive list of speakers for the event, which includes Northrop Grumman, IBM, Teal Group, Patmos Engineering Services, and of course, Mentor Graphics. Moreover, he revealed that Q2 of 2009 was a record quarter for Mentor Graphics. Kudos! I would certainly love to hear more good news like that about the industry.

Tektronix -- Sophie Fauveau, worldwide marketing communications program manager, and Todd Baker, senior manager, discussed the company's latest advancements. The company has announced its highest-performance mixed signal oscilloscope. The new MSO70000 series offers integrated digital and analog analysis to system integration debugging.

RadiSys -- Happily, it was my first visit with RadiSys that did not take place hurriedly on a trade show floor. Lyn Pangares, director of marketing communications, and John Long, product line manager, sat down with me and discussed the company's history and its future. The company has, I have learned, an interesting back story. RadiSys was delivering commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions (COTSS? Sorry, I digress) that met the stringent requirements of the medical market. RadiSys and its products, therefore, caught the eye of engineers serving the mil-aero market. Customers were saying "we want your product in the mil-aero environment" and essentially pulled RadiSys into the community. The relationship enabled mil-aero customers to "access a level of technology not previously available" and "dip their toe into COTS," according to a representative.

Engineering Design Team -- I have heard nary a peep from Engineering Design Team in months, but, as I found out, it does not mean they aren't up to something. In fact, the company offers solutions well suited to advancing the state and use of digital video on the battlefield. As I learned at NAB?s Government & Defense Summit earlier this year, officials in the Department of Defense are actively seeking advanced technology for acquiring, processing, sending/receiving, viewing, and storing multiple terabytes of digital video captured by various sensors on the battlefield.

VersaLogic -- In a serene, farmland setting sits VersaLogic, a longtime provider of rugged embedded computers for mil-aero applications. In fact, VersaLogic has been making solutions such as its line of single-board computers (SBCs) for roughly 30 years. The company "has been very busy" and introduced three new products recently, and four or five others are due in Spring 2010, says a representative.

The economy is down and travel budgets are tight, but as long as my decade-old sedan will carry me, I will be out and about learning all I can from the welcoming and impassioned mil-aero community. See you soon!

Previous Blog Posts

Capital Hill budget deal could restore tens of billions of dollars to the Pentagon

December 17, 2013

Hacker drone story a cautionary tale about the need for unmanned vehicle data security

December 10, 2013

Lack of money for systems upgrades threatens to maintain wind-farm radar dead spots

December 3, 2013

Engineering support contracts indicate the Pentagon is sinking into the Mothball Strategy

November 26, 2013

The revenge of COTS: an ageing commercial technology base complicates military supply chain

November 19, 2013

Navy's newest destroyers evolve to fill traditional battleship roles

November 12, 2013

International suspicions of U.S. encryption technology putting defense companies in a bind

November 5, 2013

Defense industry left guessing as Army struggles forward with an unclear mission

October 29, 2013

These are tough times for the combat vehicle and vetronics industries

October 22, 2013

Is the government shutdown a harbinger of more ominous things to come?

October 15, 2013

Government shutdown reduces military contracting, increasing pressure on U.S. defense industry

October 7, 2013

Potential good news: has U.S. defense spending finally bottomed-out?

October 1, 2013

Is robotics revolution the first glimpse of a fundamental change in human evolution?

September 24, 2013

Obsolescent parts: are we enhancing military readiness or creating a hollow force?

September 17, 2013

For the high-tech warfighter, the future of electronics-laden uniforms is here

September 10, 2013

New generation of embedded computing thermal management in development at GE

September 3, 2013

Trading bus stops for credit cards: how far embedded computing has come in three decades

August 27, 2013

Unmanned vehicle industry stands at the doorstep of a fundamental transformation

August 20, 2013

AUVSI 2013, one of the biggest unmanned vehicles shows in the world, opens this week in Washington

August 13, 2013

The Washington Post, under Jeff Bezos, could lead the way for media in the 21st Century

August 6, 2013

Are costs and vulnerabilities making military leaders nervous about satellite communications?

July 30, 2013

Unmanned aircraft carrier that travels beneath the waves may be in the Navy's future

July 23, 2013

Electronic warfare programs kick into high gear with a flurry of contract activity

July 16, 2013

How vulnerable are U.S. Navy vessels to advanced anti-ship cruise missiles?

July 9, 2013

First came VHSIC, then came MIMIC, and now comes ACE to push electronics technology

July 2, 2013

The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

July 2015
Volume 26, Issue 7

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