This time of year usually evokes images of travel to some distant town to attend the microwave industry's largest technical conference and exhibition, the Microwave Theory & Techniques Symposium (MTT-S). Sponsored by the IEEE, this long-running event, which is also known as the International Microwave Symposium (IMS), is scheduled for June 8-13, 2003 at the Philadelphia Convention Center (Philadelphia, PA). To commemorate the location, this year's meeting has been dubbed "Liberty Through Microwaves," and promises a full slate of technical sessions, tutorial sessions, and workshops. (For a brief preview of the technical sessions and products to be announced at MTT-S, please turn to p. 33).

At one time, the MTT-S was considered the premier event for presenting applications and technology information intended for military use. Although many of the presentations in the 1970s and 1980s tended to cover generic technology issues, the bandwidths of interest (for example, 2 to 18 GHz) generally indicated the type of application that inspired the technology.

With the 1990s, however, came the "age of wireless," and a refocusing of the technology presentations toward more narrowband devices, components, and test equipment. Presentations shifted from discussions of instantaneous operation from 2 to 18 GHz to operation in more specific frequency bands, such as 1.9 and 2.4 GHz. While many of the presentations at this year's MTT-S event are to be lauded for covering important fundamental technologies, such as superconductors and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), that can be applied to either commercial or military systems, a glance at the program reveals that fewer and fewer presentations are aimed at that important (and growing) engineering community working on the wideband solutions favored by the military customer.

For that reason, the Military Electronics Show (MES) was started almost three years ago. In part, the event was created out of a need voiced by attendees to the many "commercial-off-the-shelf" (COTS) events who found that they were not learning about the latest significant developments in true high-reliability, ruggedized, military design.

But any event is only as good as the people who support it. Now in its third year, and scheduled for September 16-17, 2003 in the Baltimore Convention Center (Baltimore, MD), the MES is looking for a few good presenters. A full list of proposed topics (such as power supplies, computers and peripherals, receiver design, software, and test) can be found at the website at www.mes2003.com. And if you'd like to be part of a growing event devoted to military design, please drop me a note at jbrowne@penton.com.