Aerospace and Defense

High-frequency design software for demanding aerospace/defense (A/D) applications

Intelligent Design

Design software is a critical engineering tool, providing a virtual platform for optimizing the performance and reliability of mission-critical assets. NI AWR software solutions help leading companies develop A/D products that meet key technical and business requirements by supporting innovation through exploration of product design options. The NI AWR software platform assists engineers with demanding and challenging A/D product development projects, from ad-hoc personal communications networks to airborne radar and satellite communications.


Deliver products on time and on budget with smart design automation and critical simulation technology that anticipates product development challenges.


Develop customized design infrastructure that can leverage legacy designs and organize/maintain build-of-materials and supply chain/inventory control.


Take advantage of integrated simulation technology dedicated to the optimization of high-frequency electronics.

Industry Sectors


From antenna-array to waveform development and signal processing, computer simulations support the design of radar systems prior to costly prototyping. Using computer-based models of critical components within a radar system, as well as environmental effects such as jammers and interferers that can degrade radar system performance, designers are able to optimize system performance, determine individual component specifications, and efficiently explore the impact of system impairments on radar reliability.

Communications and Navigation

Radio communications face an ever-increasing number of interfering signals due to crowded spectrum resulting from commercial networks and electronic warfare (EW) systems. This creates challenges for military and aviation platforms that need to send and receive clear signals. Military communications (MILCOM) platforms must securely deliver video, voice, text, and command/control data to the battlefield via systems with robust receivers that are impervious to interferers. This requires new RF signal-chain architectures and advanced RF filter and semiconductor technologies with enhanced linearity. Design software plays a critical role in the development and adoption of these enabling technologies.


EW, which includes electronic attack (EA), electronic protection (EP), and electronic warfare support (ES), uses electromagnetic (EM) spectrum  to control the information flow, attack an enemy, or impede enemy assaults via electronic counter-measures (ECM). EM spectrum has become an increasingly contentious warfare domain, and a major goal of EW is to ensure friendly, unimpeded access to EM spectrum while denying any advantageous use of EM spectrum by an adversary.

The ongoing evolution of EW systems presents new challenges for scientists and engineers who are designing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems and their underlying RF/microwave components. These challenges offer opportunities for innovation as engineers are asked to develop increasingly complex systems using more cost- and time-efficient methods. 

Case Studies

Reducing Development Times

Thales Alenia Space develops cutting-edge satellites and payloads that set the global standard for space systems, providing communications and navigation services, monitoring the environment and the oceans, helping people better understand climate change, and driving scientific progress. With NI AWR design software, the company's engineers developed a complete RF/microwave flow that seamlessly linked its process design kits (PDKs) and component libraries to a high-frequency design environment in order to save design time and increase design reuse.

Achieving Performance Goals

Slipstream Design serves the communications, aerospace, and security industries. The company's engineers were responsible for the design of a complex, modified three-level Doherty power amplifier (PA) for use in security-related counter-terrorism equipment. Using the large-signal modeling tools in Microwave Office software, the team was able to implement the entire RF layout and simulate the full amplifier prior to committing to the printed circuit board (PCB), saving time and achieving the aggressive performance goals.

Adopting Differentiating Technologies

Micran, a leading manufacturer of electronic devices in Russia, needed to develop an X-band (8-11.5 GHz) amplitude/phase control monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) core chip for transmit/receive (T/R) modules used in space communication systems as part of their expanding space products portfolio. The design, which was based on the OMMIC ED02AH pseudomorphic high-electron-mobility transistor (pHEMT) semiconductor technology, was readily supported by NI AWR software with device models and PCells organized in a PDK for simulation and design optimization.