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First, we asked you to send in your questions for Happy Holden. Now, it’s Joe Fjelstad’s turn! Inventor, columnist, instructor, and founder of Verdant Electronics, Joe has been involved with rigid PCBs and flexible circuits for decades, and he’s ready to share some of his knowledge with our readers. We hope you enjoy “Just Ask Joe.”
Q: Was your Land Warrior project ever implemented?
A: The Land Warrior system was developed and fielded by a Pacific Consultants team of 40-some engineers and technicians (after winning a design competition against three top-tier military systems contractors). The contract was managed by Exponent. Approximately 100 systems were built and demonstrated in a war games exercise at Fort Polk in 2000. It exceeded all expectations. Land Warrior development has continued in one form or another since and has seen service in conflicts since 2001. The name Land Warrior was changed to Nett Warrior in 2010 to honor Medal of Honor winner Robert B. Nett. For more information, click here.
To pose your own question for Joe Fjelstad, click here.
Joe Fjelstad is founder and CEO of Verdant Electronics and an international authority and innovator in the field of electronic interconnection and packaging technologies with more than 185 patents issued or pending. To read past "Flexible Thinking" columns or contact Fjelstad, click here. Download your free copy of Fjelstad’s book Flexible Circuit Technology, 4th Edition, and watch the micro webinar series on flexible circuit technology.
Davy Nakada, Rogers Corporation
Our industry has suffered from a lack of visibility with policymakers. PCBAA brings many voices together so those in Washington realize what's at stake. Semiconductors have received the most attention in recent years while the domestic production of PCBs and related PCB materials continues to decline. We are now seeing legislative language supporting domestic production because of how PCBAA has educated lawmakers and policymakers on the PCB’s place in the microelectronics ecosystem.
Chris Peters, USPAE
Like a cancer that spreads untreated until it becomes an urgent problem, the U.S. defense community is facing a small but growing problem that is increasingly undermining U.S. military readiness and technological dominance. The problem is lead—specifically, the lead-alloy solders that traditionally have been used to attach electronic components to printed circuit boards (PCBs). Over the last 15 years, the commercial electronics industry has shifted to lead-free solders, prompted by environmental health regulations in Europe and elsewhere. However, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and its contractors never made the switch and are still heavily reliant on leaded solders. Now, leaded electronics are becoming harder to find and more outdated.
Dan Beaulieu, D.B. Management Group
I have always been fascinated by research labs, especially those tied to major universities. These are the true leaders of innovation and invention and at the very top of the PCB industry. So, when I met Allen Keeney, chief engineer of the Advanced Electrical Fabrication Group at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, I jumped at the chance to talk with him. You will enjoy this look at another facet of our PCB industry.