The Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) will showcase some of the best research ideas it’s funded at a Marketplace event in London on 27 April 2016.
Investors can request an invite to the event to be held at the Royal Society in London. The aim of the Marketplace is to showcase innovations from some of our funding competitions to potential investors, from the defence market and wider, to increase the likelihood of exploitation.
This Marketplace will feature the winners of our persistent surveillance from the air, and agile immersive mission training competitions with the UK Defence Solutions Centre, plus additional successful projects from other CDE funding competitions.
This high-profile event will be opened by Philip Dunne MP, the Minister for Defence Procurement.
The day will include keynote presentations, 5-minute pitch sessions for our exhibitors giving a taster of what they’ve done, and exhibition areas to showcase innovative projects, network and build new relationships.
CDE funds novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research. We work with the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to develop cost-effective capabilities for UK armed forces and national security. CDE is part of Dstl.
Some of the selected projects were described in MoD press releases issued April 19 and reproduced below—Ed)
Laser Radar System For High-Resolution 3D Imaging
Case study from QinetiQ who will pitch their ideas to industry and investors at the CDE Marketplace on 27 April 2016.
Through Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) funding, QinetiQ has developed a ‘software-defined multifunction LIDAR’ (laser radar) system. It can be configured and re-configured in software at mission run-time. This single LIDAR architecture can perform the role of multiple different instruments - eg 3D imaging, ranging, Doppler, communications - providing exceptional sensing flexibility.
The system is very sensitive, making it ideally suited for high-altitude platforms (HAPS) where the duration of a mission may require multiple different sensing modes, and the platform needs a sensor of low size, weight and power.
Software-defined multifunction LIDAR brings new operational capability to persistent surveillance platforms. For example, while conventional 3D mapping can discover a vehicle under camouflage netting, this LIDAR could also determine whether its engine is running and possibly the type of vehicle by using vibrometry mode.
Brian Perrett, Security Products Business Lead, QinetiQ says:
“The CDE funding and support has helped us to bridge the gap between concept and demonstration of a novel LIDAR technology that we believe could have a significant impact on the electro-optic sensor space for high altitude platforms.”
QinetiQ is a British defence, science and technology organisation. Founded in 2001 it has its headquarters in Farnborough, Hampshire and has approximately 9000 employees worldwide.
Developing Lightweight Wide-Area Infrared Surveillance
Case study from Selex ES Ltd who will pitch their ideas to industry and investors at the CDE Marketplace on 27 April 2016.
Selex ES Ltd has been funded by the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) to study and develop a lightweight wide-area infrared (IR) surveillance system.
The system is for use with high-altitude pseudo satellites (HAPS), which are lightweight and solar powered with durations of days or weeks at a time.
HAPS platforms must have very low size, weight and power loads. Selex ES has used novel materials and manufacturing techniques, and taken advantage of the low ambient temperature in the HAPS environment to reduce the amount of cooling required by the sensor. These measures combined enable a mid-wave IR camera with significantly lower size, weight and power to be produced.
A number of alternative design options have been assessed and Selex ES is now hoping to take a design concept to the final prototype design, manufacture and test phase.
Stuart Duncan, Head of Capability at Selex ES said:
“The CDE competition on lightweight surveillance was a good match to our strategic plan for future airborne EO (electro-optic) sensors. The execution of this project will reduce the risk on a number of key new technologies and give us a building block towards a potential persistent wide area surveillance system product.”
Selex ES is part of the Finmeccanica group. The company has recently been rebranded and the parts of the company relevant to this project are now Finmeccanica Airborne and Space Systems Division and Finmeccanica Land and Naval Defence Electronics Division.
Personal Radio-Locator System For Soldiers
Case study from PacTec who will pitch their ideas to industry and investors at the CDE Marketplace on 27 April 2016.
Through Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) funding, PacTec has developed a prototype personal radio-locator system for the dismounted soldier. Known as the Squad Positioning Intelligence Network (SPIN), the system provides real-time 3-dimensional location information for all the nodes.
Running on a self-aware network (SAN) where all members of the SAN are aware of each other’s location, SPIN is designed to operate in buildings or GPS-denied areas. This is important as individual geolocation will likely form an integral part of next-generation military communication, navigation and command and control systems.
In the future, the technology developed through SPIN could provide more reliable, secure and robust personal communication, navigation and situational infrastructure to support the soldier in the field.
Further development of the technology will focus on personal awareness and direction-facing functions, coupled with voice and grid reference data for emergency response teams who need to be aware of their members’ locations at all times. Potential applications could include mobile search-and-secure tasks in urban warfare and anti-terrorist operations.
Paul McCormack, Managing Director, PacTec, says:
“CDE support and financial assistance has provided industry-standard endorsement for our technology, it has ensured that our technology and expertise is visible and that our route-to-market has been greatly enhanced. In short, CDE has provided us with a Kitemark for our product.”
acTec is a Northern Ireland-based micro-SME with key technology expertise in radio frequency and software / hardware integration.
Improving Performance of Chaff Countermeasures Through the Use of Microwires
Case study from Meon Technology Ltd who will pitch their ideas to industry and investors at the CDE Marketplace on 27 April 2016.
Meon Technology Ltd has been funded by the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) to research the use of microwire; a fine glass fibre with a metal core. This is an alternative to the current material used in ‘chaff’.
Chaff is a radar countermeasure used by military aircraft to avoid detection or attack by adversaries. Aluminium-coated glass fibre is the most commonly used material for chaff. However, this material does not disperse efficiently and there may be other ways of improving chaff performance.
Through this project, micro-SME Meon Technology, alongside partners the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton and the University of Cranfield, has developed a microwire production process and a method to compare the efficacy of microwire and other materials as chaff.
A new chaff material with better dispersion or radar cross-section could enhance the capability of UK armed forces to counter radar threats to air and naval platforms.
Brian Butters, Director, Meon Technology Ltd says:
“CDE has been very supportive in assisting me to set up the research project and finding the necessary funding. While this project is looking at microwire for use in chaff, microwire also has numerous other applications. Such as in advanced composites, electrochemical sensors and very small wire conductors and electrodes, so there could be other benefits too.”
Meon Technology Ltd is located near Portsmouth, Hampshire. Founded in April 2012 it has just 1 employee.
Research and Development of Passive Missile–Borne Radar
Case study from the University of Birmingham who will pitch their ideas to industry and investors at the CDE Marketplace on 27 April 2016.
The University of Birmingham has used Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) funding to develop an experimental demonstrator for passive missile-borne radar (PAMIR).
In the project, the university has looked at mobile communication and navigation satellite systems (Inmarsat and Iridium) to assess their power availability, as well as measuring the signal power density near the surface.
Initial tests have shown that the use of these 2 global satellite communications systems will make the radar system reliable. An experimental demonstrator and the processing algorithms and codes have been developed, along with 3 trials at UK coastal areas that prove the feasibility of the system.
In the future, a passive guidance system could be developed with capabilities including detecting the target, and rough coordinate estimation by a passive radar operating from a moving platform. The system has the advantages of not activating electronic support receivers of the target and it doesn’t have the limitations of infrared or other electro-optical sensors.
Dr. Marina Gashinova, Lecturer in Radar Sensors and Systems at the University of Birmingham said:
“The funding and support we got from CDE has allowed taking our research to the next level. Additional funding and defence industry partners are now being sought to progress the radar system.”
The University of Birmingham was first founded in 1900 as England’s first civic University. It comprises more than 6,500 staff and has students in excess of 28,000.