Logen Thiran, president and CEO of Antenna Research Associates (ARA), recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz for the publication’s latest Executive Spotlight interview detailing the company’s biggest growth areas, SATCOM capabilities and the work the company is doing to help its customers achieve their mission goals.
“At the end of the day, the company isn’t just in the business of selling only products. Our goals are to help our customers solve their problems, which we can diagnose and address clearly from our history as an engineering company. We are about to release some solutions in the months to come created from an out-of-the-box approach.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight with Logen Thiran below:
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about the biggest growth areas and market opportunities for Antenna Research Associates as the company works to push itself up the value chain and find new solutions for your customers in areas such as electronic warfare and intelligence surveillance?
“First and foremost, I’ll point out that Antenna Research Associates’ (ARA) market verticals are in military communications, electronic warfare, SATCOM and radar capabilities. These are all key areas that ARA is moving up in the value chain in our marketplace, and we look forward to continuing that momentum.
ARA has been in this business for nearly 60-years. We have a broad customer base, we’ve created our own intellectual property, and we have built our background around RF communications antennas. Our goal has been to build upon a broad antenna offering, while focusing on building a strong intellectual property library and customer base, move up the value stream and build our position in the marketplace as an RF communications solutions business.
In addition to satellite communications and the radar market, we’re also focused on SIGINT and electronic warfare as key growth areas. ARA approach to building this capability set includes cross pollination of technologies and capabilities that creates cross-market opportunities across C5ISR.
What we are also excited about from a growth perspective in the market is addressing the family of systems. This is of course to move our antenna capabilities up the value stream, but more importantly to provide and create a collection of subsystems to enable our customers. ARA strives to be the “go to” partner for our customers to help solve difficult problems.
Similarly, the technology areas of active electronically steered array (AESA) and alternate position navigation and timing (APNT) are all core technology areas in our marketplace. Customers are always looking at the marketplace for defense electronics that can receive and process more data and help solve difficult problems that can’t be addressed with current technologies.
Many of these innovative companies are looking to push the technology and physics envelope to address customer challenges. ARA is front and center for that. We recognize the needs of the market and serve as a problem-solver for our clients.
For decades, ARA was an engineering and manufacturing company. Over the last seven years, in the company transformation, ARA additionally has moved into programs.
At the end of the day, the company isn’t just in the business of selling only products. Our goals are to help our customers solve their problems, which we can diagnose and address clearly from our history as an engineering company. We are about to release some solutions in the months to come created from an out-of-the-box approach.”
ExecutiveBiz: With recent news regarding the acquisition of AQYR and contract awards to support wideband services for our military branches, how would you describe ARA’s work to advance communication antennas in the SATCOM market and control the electromagnetic spectrum?
“We’re excited about the acquisition of AQYR because it moved ARA, especially in the SATCOM market, from being a provider of feeds and antenna subsystems into a provider of an entire communication terminal subsystem. AQYR produces a small VSAT terminal with auto acquisition in an airline carry pack-out configuration for use on the GBS network.
Our customers download sensor video data at the tactical edge for improved situational awareness. Our end state is to leverage off this capability to expand into unique Satcom subsystems and solutions for broader customer base both domestically and internationally. We continue to actively seeking other acquisition targets that fits our strategic plan to continue the ARA transformation and growth.
To advance our contributions in the SATCOM market as a company, we developed and recently launched a new product called Saterra. It is a very small aperture terminal, and it has the unique ability to enable customers to mix and match different bands with multiple size reflectors that has the potential to address both the commercial and military markets requirements. Saterra addresses Ka, X, and Ku bands in aperture sizes 60cm, 80cm, 1.0m, 1.3m and further expands to mid-size class.
Visit our Executive Spotlight Page on ExecutiveBiz.com to learn more about the most significant leaders of consequence to the government contracting (GovCon) and federal sectors and their experiences driving growth, new business and capabilities in the fiercely competitive federal landscape.
ExecutiveBiz: With the SATCOM industry expected to grow significantly as MEO and LEO offerings are surging while GEO and C-Band tech is declining, what are your thoughts on the impact that RF spectrum emissions and emerging tech such as AI and the Internet of things will have on the market moving forward?
“Obviously, everyone is facing this issue. The market for the spectrum of SATCOM communications is becoming crowded. The need for better solutions and faster data continues to increase in the communication market for military and commercial applications.
It’s a fact that we need more bands and higher link speed and data throughout. One way we can address and meet those needs is through key efforts to balance the loads and increase the efficiency across the entire Satcom communication ecosystem.
Here’s an example: RF antennas and front-end technologies are pushing the laws of physics to provide better performance, while using AI for faster and better decision-making that further reduces system level overheads and increasing decision making efficiency. Another example would be the speed of components like processors or processes that is a part of various defense electronics systems which continue to move the efficiency curve.
The need to improve and deliver better performance will always be there. The need to be faster forces every single part of the system to become more efficient. That’s why artificial intelligence is so important. That’s why processors and antennas are important. They allow us to be more efficient and to produce faster and better products,
Regarding the internet of things (IOT) also coming into play, all these smart devices coming into the marketplace are only going to drive us into greater capabilities. Eventually, we’re going to have to figure out how best to utilize all of these distributed computing resources in that entire ecosystem and optimally distribute the processing load effectively. ARA is excited by the growth and plans to be front and center in all the key areas in this IOT market that are going to be pivotal to our future.”
ExecutiveBiz: How will ARA continue to differentiate itself in the aerospace and defense markets as your customers’ missions continue to be challenged by the speed of innovation as well as address our nation’s national security challenges across the globe?
“One of the core traits of ARA is agility and speed. That identity is something that we never want to lose; customers come to us when they need solutions immediately.
The main reason they come to us for help is for our quick problem-solving skills. Other times, customers come to ARA to help solve a problem that other suppliers have not been able to meet their needs.
We continue to do this agile problem solving over and over, and our agility and nimbleness to understand the problem set and deliver the capabilities to the customer is a key differentiator for ARA. We invest in our customers this way. We have a commitment to deliver quality products that meet or exceed the expectations and requirements of our customers.
We value commitment all the way to the end– through both successes and challenges that we work through. I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of calls from large customers saying that they never question our commitment, and I believe that’s a significant reason why our customers come to us when they need help.
Lastly, we are able to be innovative greatly through the investment of the people we work with. At the end of the day, our company is people. Customers are people and so are our partners. We value our teamwork internally to produce value in the quickest and most innovative way possible, and we value our partners to ensure the quality of service that we provide to our customers is of great importance. We work tirelessly to ensure we provide the best the industry has to offer.”