As microelectronics becomes more and more versatile, a single active electronic scanning array (such as F-35’s AESA) can send, receive or jam radar pulses and radio messages, while acting as sensors, communication devices, cell phone jammer, and cyber weapons. As microelectronics gets smaller and smaller, you can place these multifunctional arrays on smaller and smaller platforms-on every plane, drone, robot, ground vehicle, and even every soldier-and then put these Micro-arrays are networked so that they can work together in ways that go beyond power supplies beyond the capabilities of a single large system.
Faist said: “We can develop broadband AESA technology so that SIGINT can sense on the list.” “In the technology we are using now, the hardware and physical layers can accomplish all these multitasking.”
He acknowledged that using this flexibility is a challenge for today’s military procurement organizations. “A service is used to buy a communication system or a radar system. If you tell them you have a system that can perform both tasks at the same time, then… how will you get the comprehensive requirements?” he asked. “Designing it correctly and implementing it may be the biggest challenge we face.”