GDCA's Critical Thoughts

Informed opinions and innovative ideas from a trusted source

Building for VICTORY: The U.S. Army and the Vehicle Integration Network Initiative

By GDCA | October 20, 2014

It isn’t a high-profile battle, but those who know are aware that our armed forces are engaged in a perpetual war with an enemy that is, ultimately, unbeatable. That enemy is obsolescence. However, just because obsolescence is inevitable, it doesn’t mean there aren’t victories. Or one singular “VICTORY,” as the case may be.

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Sensors Going Blind: Obsolete Medical Scanners in the Developing World

By GDCA | August 20, 2014

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night with chest pains. You can’t call 911 because you live in a region without telephone service. There are few emergency services available and, even so, there are few functional roads. The pains pass, but you know you need to have it looked at. You begin the […]

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What Happens When IVs Dry Up: Interruptions in the Saline Supply Chain

By GDCA | July 28, 2014

Saline isn’t one of the products that most people tend to think about in terms of supply and demand. It has become almost universal in the medical world—especially if you stop to consider how often you see it adorning the background of hospital scenes in film and TV. In addition to being thought of as […]

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The JTAG Interrogator: The Arrival of a New Counter-Counterfeiting Tool

By GDCA | June 18, 2014

The extent of component counterfeiting can be staggering when you think about it: Unmarked refurbished units Salvaged components dressed up to look new Illegal clones or second-run components Tainted components  manufactured with malicious hidden features If non-authentic components have made their way into your production line, then each such situation represents a unique set of […]

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US Navy: Sailing Full Steam Ahead… and Making Petro-Fuels Obsolete?

By GDCA | June 4, 2014

Earlier this spring, scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) announced a prototype process for producing liquid hydrocarbon fuel from seawater. NRL’s proprietary process uses a modular reaction system to remove CO2 from seawater (with 92% efficiency) while producing hydrogen gas. Once separated, the nickel-supported catalyst conversion system combines them again into liquid hydrocarbon […]

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DARPA’s Defense Against Counterfeiting: SHIELD

By GDCA | May 21, 2014

At DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office (MTO), proposals are already being accepted for the new Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics program, aka SHIELD. The SHIELD program will be the DOD’s response to component counterfeiting in the supply chain and will include the use of a “a small (100 micron x 100 micron) component, or dielet, that authenticates […]

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Microgrid Death Spiral: The Argument Over “Obsolete” Power Infrastructure

By GDCA | May 7, 2014
City Lights

In January of 2013, the Edison Electric Institute released a report titled “Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business”, which outlined a variety of challenges traditional power utilities will face in the upcoming years. The current power infrastructure in the United States wasn’t constructed with end-user power generation in […]

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Counterfeit Components Hurt More Than Military Applications

By GDCA | April 23, 2014

When reading the news around counterfeit components, much of the dialogue is driven by the defense industry. When you are dealing with systems that protect our national security and the lives of the people out in the field – you’re not dealing with counterfeits in a bunch of trivial electronics. You’re taking necessary steps to […]

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A Tale of Two SHIELDS: Marvel Comics, DARPA, and Counterfeiting

By GDCA | April 9, 2014
Avengers Ship

Marvel Comic’s SHIELD (Strategic help Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division) and, slick as it is, it is more likely to wind up counterfeited than prevent counterfeiting It is a program devised by a secretive government agency. Its purpose is to organize and motivate the top actors in their fields to come together to prevent […]

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Drinking From a Too-Short Straw: The Brutal Costs of Mismanaging Obsolescence

By GDCA | March 12, 2014

It can be easy for those of us in the embedded industry to think of obsolescence as predominantly an electronics or software issue and to imagine its scope as limited to small- or medium-scale consequences. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that obsolescence is a problem across many industries, and the consequences can be severe. The […]

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