space-borne missions). Advanced compression and filtering with on-board processing provided by commodity multicore architectures are reducing communications demands.


Analyses of national capabilities should include consideration of advances in processing technologies for other uses—for example, commercial developments—that could also enhance the use of detectors in future sensor systems.

The Global Landscape of Detector Technologies

To date, the United States has been the international leader in designing, developing, and implementing detector technologies. An exception is the migration of visible detectors, driven by consumer requirements, to an Asian manufacturing base. Significantly, existing U.S. export control policies have eroded and will continue to erode U.S. advantages in areas of military detector technologies.

Significant detector technology developments will continue to occur in Europe, specifically in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, as well as in Israel. China, today, is a second-tier nation in designing and fielding detector technologies; however, it is investing substantial resources and is anticipated to emerge as a significant competitor within the 10- to 15-year time frame of this study.


Current export restrictions will continue to have a significant effect on development and maturation of detector technologies over the next decade. Numerous foreign countries are already developing their own technology base rather than utilizing U.S. technology and often will compete with U.S. technology. U.S. export restrictions are a primary driver creating this competition. U.S. companies invest significant resources in obtaining, funding, and exploiting foreign products so that they can compete in foreign markets without export restrictions.

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