The PCB Design Magazine

PCBD-July2017

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8 The PCB Design Magazine • July 2017 For some PCB companies, mil/aero work is the Holy Grail. Whether a downturn or a growing economy, defense is a safe segment to bet on. The DoD is constantly exploring techno- logical ideas that would have seemed crazy even 10 years ago, such as wearables. (We regularly publish news items about wearables.) Sensors built into a soldier's uniform and boots could potentially track blood pressure, heart rate, hydration, injuries, and ground speed. Solar cells sewn into a uniform's fabric could charge a soldier's growing list of electronic equipment. Some of these innovations will make their way into the commercial world. So-called "pre- cision-guided" rifles that are commercially avail- able today utilize fire direction control technol- ogy designed for jet fighters and tanks; users can track a target through an LCD heads-up display that provides distance and wind speed information, basically eliminating any chance of human error. About a decade ago, some analysts worried that the military's move from the old "steamboat" technology of the not-too-distant past toward "smart" munitions and unmanned aerial vehicles might lead to a drop in demand for PCBs, but the opposite seems to be true. The technology level of today's smart weapons means that the PCBs of today and tomorrow are more high-tech—and more costly than ever. No doubt about it: Despite an occasional dip in spending, the Department of Defense is one flush customer. Even sequestration, which put a scare into the Department of Defense and its contractors in 2013 by requiring defense cuts for 10 years, didn't have too much effect on most contractors' bottom line. Sequestration dictated by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Mil/Aero Work not for Everyone THE SHAUGHNESSY REPORT Vice President Mike Pence speaks at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston following the introduction of NASA's 2017 astronaut candidate class on June 7, 2017.

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