News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

7. Electronics Research

Basic research in electronics supports advanced technology development with many applications. Important examples include continued advancement in solid–state devices, telecommunications, microwave and MMW circuit integration, image analysis, and low–power electronics. Table E–29 shows that many countries host capabilities in these various areas that support military applications and a wide range of civil applications.

Table E–29.  International Research Capabilities—Electronics Research


United Kingdom




Asia/Pacific Rim


Other Countries

Solid–State Devices & Components 1s.gif (931 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA research 1s.gif (931 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA research

2s.gif (968 bytes) Photonics

1s.gif (931 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA research; photonics 1s.gif (931 bytes) All phases of solid–state devices     Europe

4s.gif (949 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA research

Mobile, Wireless Tactical Communications Systems & Networks 1s.gif (931 bytes) Telecommunications 1s.gif (931 bytes) World leader in battlefield communications 1s.gif (931 bytes) Telecommunications 1s.gif (931 bytes) Telecommunications     Canada, Belgium, Sweden, Italy

2s.gif (968 bytes) Telecommunications

Electromagnetics & Microwave/Millimeter–Wave Circuit Integration 4s.gif (949 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA programs; microwave tubes; antennas 4s.gif (949 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA programs; microwave tubes; antennas 2s.gif (968 bytes) Antennas; MMIC

4s.gif (949 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA programs; microwave tubes

1s.gif (931 bytes) MMIC; acoustic wave devices; microwave tubes     Canada

4s.gif (949 bytes) Microwave tubes; antennas

Image Analysis & Information Fusion 2s.gif (968 bytes) Image analysis; target recognition; sensors 1s.gif (931 bytes) Target recognition; sensors

2s.gif (968 bytes) Image analysis

2s.gif (968 bytes) Sensors

3s.gif (977 bytes) Image analysis; target recognition

1s.gif (931 bytes) Sensors

2s.gif (968 bytes) Image analysis

3s.gif (977 bytes) Target recognition


6s.gif (990 bytes) 3rd–generation image intensifier tubes


2s.gif (968 bytes) Airborne radar


2s.gif (968 bytes) Sensors; target recognition; image analysis


5s.gif (958 bytes) Sensors; target recognition; image analysis

Minimum Energy, Low–Power Electronics, & Signal Processing 4s.gif (949 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA programs; NLOs; antennas; low–power devices 4s.gif (949 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA programs; NLOs; antennas; low–power devices 4s.gif (949 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA programs; antennas; low–power devices 1s.gif (931 bytes) MMIC; NLOs; low–power devices   Russia

5s.gif (958 bytes) NLOs


4s.gif (949 bytes) JESSI/MEDEA research

Note: See Annex E, Section A.6 for explanation of key numerals.


a. Solid–State Devices and Components

Research in solid–state devices concentrates on the development of novel, robust, reliable multifunctional ultrafast/ultradense electronic, photonic, and optoelectronic components and architectures. This includes the design of nanoscale and microscale devices based on new physical principles of operation leading to expanded functionality, greater packing density, and devices capable of operation at terahertz speeds. Basic research continues in an effort to develop new families of devices that operate at high speeds and at extremely low power levels. Japan and a number of European countries, through their JESSI/MEDEA program, are active in this area.

b. Mobile, Wireless Tactical Communications Systems and Networks

Battlefield communications continues to be an application of great interest, as the need for real–time battlefield information becomes more critical. A number of countries have developed extensive research capabilities in niche areas ranging from C3 to networking, switching, and transmission. The United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Germany are world leaders in this area. Canada, Belgium, Sweden, and Italy have significant niche capabilities.

c. Electromagnetics and Microwave/Millimeter–Wave Circuit Integration

Microwave/MMW circuit integration helps to satisfy the need for improved communications, radar, and seeker systems. Other direct applications, including novel antenna arrays and optical control of circuits, support the "digitized" battlefield. Japan, with its research in MMIC devices and acoustic wave devices, is a leader in applicable areas. Again, European countries are involved through the JESSI/MEDEA consortium. Canada and Italy have significant niche capabilities.

d. Image Analysis and Information Fusion

Image analysis and target recognition are critical to maintaining superior U.S. forces. This involves the full energy spectrum: IR, visible, and radar. Research also addresses the fusion of the vast quantities of information on the digital battlefield generated by sensors that may be IR, visible, or radar. The United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Italy, and Israel are active in these areas.

e. Minimum Energy, Low–Power Electronics, and Signal Processing

Low–power electronics are critical for the lightweight prime power sources and man–portable systems of the near future. For these systems, it is necessary to develop a new generation of design rules for electronics that operate with minimum energy requirements and dissipate very low direct current power. This research will address highly efficient and low direct current power consumption digital and RF circuits and solid–state devices. Japan has extensive experience in this area and is considered a world leader. Several countries in Europe, including the U.K., France, and Germany, have developing capabilities.

The following highlight a few selected examples of specific facilities engaged in electronics research:

France—French–Japanese Integrated Micromecatronic Systems LaboratoryLIMMS was formed in 1995 by the (French) National Scientific Research Center and Tokyo University’s Institute for Industrial Sciences. Researchers there have successfully combined silicon micromachining, integrated circuits, and microrobotic technologies, resulting in the completion of novel silicon microactuators. Further work has been done in pivoting–mirrors and evanescent–wave optical switchers, actuators that permit control of linear displacement in two dimensions, and pivot–mounted "patch" antennas. The overall goal of the laboratory is to advance current technology toward full autonomous microsystem capabilities.

England—The Terahertz Integrated Technology Initiative (TinTin). TinTin is a consortium of Bath, Nottingham, and Reading universities in the U.K., British Aerospace (BAe), the Max Plank Institute in Stuttgart, Germany, and IBM in Zurich. Its research is focused on developing micromachined integrated terahertz systems, imaging array development, and the characterization of satellite components for various space organizations, including NASA. The overall task is directed at the development of terahertz (THz) waveguides and devices for operation in the 600 GHz to 1.6 THz range.

Switzerland—Swiss Electronics and Microelectronics Center (CSEM)CSEM specializes in developing low–consumption dedicated circuits. Recently, it has developed a high–speed, 8–bit reduced instruction set computer (RISC) microprocessor core. This new technology can perform 5,000 million instructions per second per watt (MIPS/W), or 40 times higher than current 8–bit complex instruction set computer processors. These cores, called CoolRISC, are as small as 0.4 mm2 in 1–micron complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS), so they are well suited for space limited, very–low–power consumption circuits. The CoolRISC has already led to development of an 8–bit microcontroller with 5,000 MIPS/W computing power at 10 hertz and under 3 volt.

Japan—Atmospheric Electromagnetic Wave Research Center, Kyoto UniversityThis joint research team with Nissan Motor Corporation has been investigating the transmission of electric power by microwave. They have successfully lit a lamp using this technology. Additionally, Kyoto University and the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science were successful in flying a model airplane using microwave. Research is now under way into the possibility of recharging an electric car while in motion.

Norway—SensoNor. SensoNor is world leader in the development of silicon MEMS devices, including pressure transducers and accelerometers, for automotive, medical, and industrial applications. These devices have already been implemented in a number of systems, including automotive crash sensors for airbag deployment. Current research is aimed at improving the reliability and sensitivity of the sensors, and integrating multiple devices in a single MEMS system.

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