1. What's the overall mission of Information Systems Laboratories (ISL)?
ISL’s mission is to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems in defense, energy and technology commercialization by questioning all previous assumptions and attacking the fundamentals. Though small, we have world-class leaders in advanced technology development and transition, including recipients of technology’s leading awards, such as the IEEE Dennis J. Picard Medal. We are vertically integrated and a “one stop shop.” Our tagline “Technology for real-world solutions” sums it up.
2. Who are your typical customers?
Our customers span the gambit from governmental agencies (here and abroad), industry and academia.
3. RF digital engineering is one of your focus areas. How do you define that, and what capabilities and products have you developed?
RF digital engineering (DE) is a subset of DE focused on all things RF. For ISL, this entails a set of tools that tackle the daunting problem of modeling the physics of open air propagation of RF in all manner of environments. For defense applications, this includes advanced radar, EW, ELINT, etc.
ISL’s family of RF DE tools addresses the entire technology lifecycle from design, with RFView® Modeling & Sim; prototyping and test, with RFView HWIL (hardware in the loop); mission planning and sustainment, with RFView Training. (For more information, watch the video interview below.)
4. ISL is also working in next-generation nuclear reactor design, carbon capture, analysis and safety. Tell us about this technology and its maturity.
Our Energy group consists of internationally recognized nuclear engineers and scientists. Indeed, ISL has been the trusted brain trust for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for many years. Recently, we have focused that talent on solving a number of strategic energy problems for defense and civilian applications.
We are, for example, a team member on the DOD’s Project Pele that is building a small modular reactor for forward deployed bases to eliminate a huge portion of the logistics sustainment tail. We also have patented technologies for multifunction reactors that not only generate carbon free energy, but also simultaneously sequester carbon, produce hydrogen and desalinate water. Having a reactor perform more than one function is a game changer.
5. As the effects of climate change become more obvious to the public, we've seen heightened global support for alternative energy sources. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has made that need even more obvious. Do you think we'll see a resurgence of nuclear energy, after decades of decline, as one of the alternatives to carbon fuels?
It’s already happening! And it’s happening globally. The U.S. is, in some respects, lagging here. ISL is helping to change that.
6. What other ISL product areas or new developments should we be watching?
We continue to improve our entire RF DE set of tools and will be rolling out major new offerings this year in the training arena. ISL is the first to provide a real-time, physics-based radar simulator that is compatible with existing commercial flight sims such as X-Plane and Prepare 3D.
7. You are well known for your expertise in radar. Where do you see as the frontiers of radar technology today, from semiconductor technology to signal processing?
Indeed, there are a lot of exciting developments feeding into the radar enterprise both commercially and militarily. Please tune into the keynote talk at the upcoming IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS) conference in Denver, 19–24 June (2022).
Microwave Journal’s Pat Hindle recently interviewed Joe Guerci about a real-time HWIL capability enabled by ISL’s RFView physics-based modeling and simulation software.