Miniaturization of electronics, theme at AUSA
Posted by John McHale
Interviewing and speaking with people at the AUSA show in Washington this week, the common requirement from the Army seems to be miniaturization
of electronics or as some term it low size, weight, and power (SWaP) -- and in some cases SWaP-C, with C being cost.
Some vendors don't like the C part, as their parts will never be considered low-cost, but it seems as if everyone's latest design is smaller than the last one.
Whether it's in rugged computers with the new rugged PDA from VT Miltope, the rugged Armor tablet PC from DRS Technologies ,or the tactical rugged tablet from Lockheed Martin -- they're all trending smaller with plans for even smaller designs.
The same is true for display maker Barco, who is shrinking their rugged computer boxes while to squeeze into wheeled or tracked vehicles. Meanwhile engineers at Cobham are designing data links that can fit in the palm of your hand or be concealed for undercover operations. One of Cobham's other designs takes two radio downlinks and puts them in one device -- that once again fits in the palm of your hand.
Pretty soon we'll see tracking devices and radios so small they can fit under the skin. It's exciting to think about the possibilities for nanotechnology as well.
AUSA keeps getting bigger -- two floors at the Washington, DC convention center next year -- but the technology is shrinking.