RF Field Tests and the Silver Screen (Episode 5): Turning RF Capture into Residuals is the Endgame

At a reported cost of over $350 million, Avengers: Endgame was not simply a film project—it was an expansion of a multi-billion dollar franchise. From the global marketing plan to the themed products, amusement parks, and restaurants worldwide, Marvel approached the creation of the film as an investment in a long-term asset and not a one-time box office hit. Marvel might be an outlier, but it’s still reflective of the way Hollywood generates multiple streams of residual income. In our final episode in this series, the fundamental question remains: what can we learn from this? What if we approach an RF field test program with the goal of creating an RF capture asset, not just a report?

Turning Every Field Test into An Asset 

Unlike Hollywood moguls, major defense primes are not seeking to increase cash-flow through field test operations. But there’s even more at stake. By conducting successful missions that provide long-term benefits, the Department of Defense gains the strategic edge over adversaries. 

So naturally the next question is, how do we turn a field test into an asset? After years of working with major defense primes, we’ve found that customers who adopt RF recording methodologies generate benefits that extend beyond the time on the range.

Two Key Benefits of an RF Capture Library

Keep your A-team focused. In both Hollywood and the field of electronic warfare (or EW), the talent pool is extremely limited. Your A-team must remain focused on new and interesting challenges, not reruns of the old. Renowned Hollywood directors do not waste time shooting another NYC skyline, but rather take from stock footage where possible. 

Similarly, electronic warfare (EW) domain experts are most effective when identifying new and unique jamming scenarios, not repeating the same old test suite over and over again. The good news is, an RF capture library removes the need to revisit test scenarios that already exist in your collection. 

Create a low-friction release cycle. To maintain the strategic edge, especially in EW, it’s crucial to update and improve products as often as possible. But friction is the number one enemy to incremental improvements. A high release tempo hinges on a low-friction test and release process. 

How many improvements are delayed because of a reluctance to release the features without a regression test? And how practical is it to repeat a full-blown set of field tests? In order to dominate the electronic warfare environment, your team must identify a threat and be positioned to react. If the process of making a release is too painful or inefficient, it’s easy to settle for good enough. The simpler it is to regression test, the greater the likelihood of releasing new updates over time. 

One of the best ways to reduce friction is to build and maintain an RF capture library ready to reproduce a wide variety of electromagnetic environments with only a few keystrokes. The lowest friction is achieved when the library is expansive and immediately accessible to as many team members as possible. This is not an abstract ideal, but an achievable tactic for creating a frictionless workflow.

While Hollywood has always had an asset-generation approach to blockbuster films, RF recording tools have now enabled EW professionals to adopt the same mindset. On movie sets, Hollywood is focused on cash flow and residuals. On the field test range, EW professionals can focus on libraries and recordings. These long-term assets will yield engineering productivity and battlefield advantage for years to come. 

If you have enjoyed this series and want to learn more about how to make RF capture a tangible asset, book a free RF Recording Consultation. You’ll learn three key takeaways:

  1. What are the common challenges recording and common pitfalls (and how to overcome RF record problems before you start recording)? What are the unique challenges in your environment?
  2. Learn if you have the workflow needed to properly conduct RF recording. Think of this as a testing workflow checkup.
  3. See how others we’ve served have solved the problem you may be facing.