Emerging Aerospace, Defense, and Maritime Systems and How to Test Them

Emerging technologies and an ever-changing world have created a new generation of increasingly complex aerospace, defense, and maritime systems. Those responsible for the design and operation of these systems must implement new, advanced test processes to verify performance in mission-critical use cases. 

Here are some key trends and necessary test solutions to ensure performance in modern aerospace, defense, and maritime environments.

Radar-based Systems

Industry Trends –  The U.S. military has launched multiple projects to advance radar systems in airborne, land, and sea missions. Developments in high-performance embedded computing are enhancing radar imagery to protect U.S. and allied militaries from sophisticated threats.

Modern, advanced military radar systems are designed with more transceivers in various positions, such as Active Electronically Scanned Arrays (AESAs). Today’s radar systems must seamlessly integrate into today’s military, which requires greater processing power to succeed in a more dynamic battlespace.


Table 1: Common radar use cases.

Testing – Anritsu offers radar testing solutions for aerospace and defense applications. A comprehensive approach integrates advanced tools and software with high-performance instruments to provide flexibility, speed, and cost-efficiency – key factors to meet the federal government’s emphasis on budget and timelines.

Solutions include radar signal generators and spectrum/signal analyzers. Engineers use the instruments to thoroughly test and validate the performance of radar systems, ensuring accuracy, sensitivity, and target detection capabilities.

Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) and Electronic Warfare (EW)

Industry Trends –  Modern EW and SIGINT utilize advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). EW systems rely on the electromagnetic spectrum. For offensive campaigns, EW is used to monitor and provide protection and communications. EW is also used to disrupt, deny, and degrade electronic threats. In the 21st-century battlefield, SIGINT – the ability to collect and analyze adversaries’ data while protecting your own – is becoming more vital to mission success.

Testing – Anritsu provides tools and equipment for SIGINT and EW applications, enabling the detection, analysis, and identification of various signals and electronic threats. These solutions help military and defense personnel understand and respond to electronic attacks effectively, as well as develop advanced EW weaponry and SIGINT systems that help gather and decode heavily encrypted transmissions.

Spectrum Monitoring and Management

Industry Trends – Remote spectrum monitoring plays a critical role in ensuring spectrum is fully and properly utilized. Regulatory enforcement, satellite ground station monitoring, and security at critical sites, such as borders, airports, and military installations, are key use cases for spectrum monitoring.

Testing – Anritsu offers spectrum analyzers and monitoring solutions for efficient spectrum management in both defense and civilian applications. Handheld solutions are used by personnel in the field while real-time remote spectrum monitoring systems are available to oversee spectrum 24/7/365.                               

Satellite Communications  

Industry Trends – From communication and broadcasting to weather forecasting and military use, modern satellite systems serve multiple applications. To meet current demands, very high throughput satellites (VHTS) and other advances, such as next-generation ground systems, enhanced payload systems, and in-orbit servicing, are being developed. Satellites are also becoming smaller and making greater use of AI.

Testing – Anritsu’s solutions cater to the testing and evaluation of satellite communication systems. This includes analyzing the performance of satellite links, transponders, and antennas, as well as testing satellite ground stations.


Industry Trends – Cybersecurity is a high priority for the Department of Defense (DoD), as cyber-attacks are a major threat to the safety of armed forces. In fact, more than 12,000 cyber incidents on military systems have been recorded by the DoD since 2015 (figure 1). Additionally, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is developing comprehensive processes and programs to protect essential cyber and physical infrastructure throughout the U.S.     

Figure 1:  More than 12,000 cyber incidents related to defense systems since 2015.

Testing – Anritsu provides cybersecurity solutions to help safeguard critical communication networks and infrastructure from cyber threats and attacks. These solutions range from ongoing monitoring tools to instruments that conduct cybersecurity tests on devices, components, and complete systems.

Maritime Communication Systems

Industry Trends – Safe operations and smooth travels on oceans and seas require reliable ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications. While VHF radios are still in use, advanced systems are now more commonplace. These include Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

Testing – Anritsu offers testing solutions for maritime communication systems to ensure efficient and reliable communication at sea. This includes testing radio equipment and verifying compliance with industry standards and regulations.

Wireless Communications

Industry Trends –  Wireless communications have become a part of the American landscape and will continue to be the fabric of how everyone is entertained, communicates, and lives. 5G is now deployed and used in public safety networks to aid first responders, private networks for IoT use cases, and commercial networks to meet consumer demand. All these applications also rely on other wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®, for operations.

Testing – Anritsu’s wireless communication testing solutions are used during every stage – R&D, manufacturing, and installation and maintenance (I&M). Our solutions have been relied on for decades to validate the performance of wireless systems, based on all industry and regulatory standards and protocols.

RF and Microwave Components

Industry Trends – The move towards higher frequencies, greater signal complexity, and more compact designs has created a need for more advanced RF and microwave components. They must address stringent size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) requirements, while meeting tight specifications to avoid issues that degrade performance, including interference.

Testing – Anritsu, which invented the industry-standard K®, V®, and W1® connectors, manufactures high-quality RF and microwave components. In addition to being the technology leader in connectors, Anritsu also develops leading-edge adapters, attenuators, and cables. They are vital in building reliable high-frequency communication systems for aerospace and defense applications.

To learn more about Anritsu’s test solutions for emerging applications, visit our government resources page.

Previous Article
Importance of Developing Effective Test Strategies  for Emerging Radar and EW Systems
Importance of Developing Effective Test Strategies for Emerging Radar and EW Systems

How electronic warfare (EW) is becoming more sophisticated. 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) / machine lear...

Next Article
Importance of Signal Monitoring and Analysis for Today’s SIGINT Systems
Importance of Signal Monitoring and Analysis for Today’s SIGINT Systems

Signal monitoring in today's SIGINT systems