SWaP: The RF Solution that Can Mean the Difference Between Flying High and Being Grounded

Commercial and defense airborne platforms differ in many ways; commercial aircraft place high emphasis on safety and system redundancy, while defense platforms may focus on multifunction systems and power management. One area of common concern for commercial and defense airborne platforms is maximizing payload efficiency. Every ounce of weight, cubic centimeter of space, and milliwatt hour of power is carefully planned. Both are focused on size, weight, and power—SWaP. Advances in RF technology can provided a leap frog advantage for commercial and defense airborne platforms, manned and unmanned. This article focuses on these RF technology advances and gives a high altitude view of the problem followed by a detailed look at a few solutions. Some of the systems discussed are multifunction radar, electronic warfare, and wireless sensor technology.

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