Software Important To Military Designers
Dear Editor,
Your story on military electronics in the June issue, "Targeting Trends In Military Electronics," did a commendable job of covering a great deal of ground in a few pages. However, while addressing such areas as materials science and measurement equipment, it left out one important area to military system designers, and that is in the area of computer-aided-engineering (CAE) simulation tools. Simulators are a vital technology area for military end-users as well as contractors and subcontractors, and their omission from your report was inexcusable.

At the highest levels, computer simulators are used to emulate battlefield conditions, to train warfighters on proper responses under a variety of different environments as might be experienced in the field. For system designers, CAE simulators provide the opportunity to evaluate different subsystems as they might perform within a platform of interest, such as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or on board the avionics package of a fighter aircraft. Such simulators are well worth the investments for the amount of design time and development costs they save by allowing "what if" evaluations of different combinations of electronic systems under different operating conditions.

At even lower levels in the design, CAE simulators provide effective simulation of the electromagnetic (EM) fields and S-parameters that define the behavior of active and passive components and devices within an analog or digital military electronic system. Design engineers have come to depend on the "buildingblock" approach of designing a system by first simulating its components and then moving the simulation to higher levels of integration to better model the system as a collection of components and subsystems. Hopefully, next time you report on military electronics, you will not neglect this important technology area.

Sincerely yours,
Peter Bishop
Director of Engineering
Configuration Analysis Management
Danbury, CT

Editor's Note: Our apologies to Mr. Bishop and to all the suppliers of CAE software for this oversight. Although the article attempted to cover as much ground as possible, it obviously missed an important technology area, which indeed will be covered in the future.