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What New Applications Use RF Subsystems & Components?

It might seem improbable, but we are only a few years away from a world where drones autonomously navigate disaster areas and deliver life-saving supplies. Satellites can even predict natural disasters before they strike.

These ideas might have felt like movie scripts a few decades ago, but now, it’s our reality. RF subsystems and their components drive these concepts and advanced technology. They modulate, amplify, and refine signals to make this technology possible.

In many ways, RF subsystems are the unsung heroes behind modern communication, navigation, and defense technologies. As you likely know, they encompass a range of components – such as amplifiers, mixers, oscillators, and RF filters.

For industries such as the military, broadband communications, and space technology, new and improved RF subsystems are game changers. There’s a reason the RF component market size is projected to grow from $35.54 billion in 2023 to $101.09 billion in 2032.

The market for RF subsystems is set to grow by nearly $70 billion over the next decade.
Precedence Research

In this article, we break down how new applications are using RF subsystems.

What are the Latest Applications that Use RF Subsystems?

Here are a few examples of new applications of RF subsystems in action.

Modular Innovations in Communications System Design

Modular RF designs are revolutionizing the foundation of communication systems. These are smaller, more efficient, and adaptable systems that can be utilized for different forms of communications, such as satellite or land-mobile radios. Smaller components needed can mean lower costs and fewer materials needed.

While the packaging of micro-components can vary, the subsystem as a whole provide engineers with the versatility to develop powerful, customized applications. Modular subsystems enable quicker updates and upgrades. They ensure that communication networks remain online and efficient.

Military Counters for Drone Weapons

In the military, RF subsystems are utilized in the development of counter-drone weapons. With how prevalent drones are in military operations, the need for prompt countermeasures is vital. 

“The need for counter-UAS weapons is so acute, according to the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, that it now constitutes a ‘crisis.’”

- A Recent Breaking Defense Report

RF subsystems offer new ways to disable or control unauthorized drones. For instance, the Air Force’s first test of the microwave counter-drone weapon THOR shows the potential of RF subsystems in improving national security. These systems provide a non-destructive means to safeguard airspace. 

This means military operations have a swift response to drone-based surveillance or attacks. Integrated advanced RF subsystems help the military to deploy more strategic and flexible defense against drones.

Observations from Space with Thermal Imagery

Another fascinating new application of RF subsystems is in space-based thermal imagery. RF subsystems are vital for satellite communications because they enable the capture and transmission of content. This technology has significant implications for environmental monitoring, military reconnaissance, and even disaster management. 

“It’s the next big thing in Earth observation. No one has opened up the frontier on infrared.”

- Anthony Baker, founder and CEO of Satellite Vu

There is a massive opportunity provided by the versatility and importance provided by RF subsystems in space technology. For instance, thermal imagery can detect forest fires in their infancy, track the melting of polar ice, or monitor the health of crops. In the United States alone, we had 55,571 fires in 2023

This technology not only means staying ahead of potential disasters before they start, but could have impacts on the environment for future generations. It gives us another way to regulate the impact of humanity.

Learn How We Create High-Quality RF Subsystems for Your Application

These new applications are just the beginning of a new era of technology. The potential of what’s to come is as exciting as it is unknown – drones saving lives, satellites protecting our natural wonders. It’s an exciting time to be working in this industry. 

And with over 25 years of experience in RF engineering, we keep a close eye on the current trends in the industry. RF subsystems and other components are building a foundation for a new, modern future. 

Want to learn more about our process? Check out what we can offer in terms of RF subsystems and integrated filter products.