Surveillance Radar for Comprehensive Threat Detection

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The Challenge

Our client, a world leader in providing state-of-the-art perimeter surveillance systems, wanted a radar capable of long-range detection with a low false-alarm rate.

It required the use of standard industrial components across all system parts and be designed for the lightweight, compact & man-portable form factor.

The Approach

Plextek utilised Passive Electronically Scanned Arrays (PESA) for electronic scanning combining Doppler processing.

Using standard industrial parts minimalises manufacturing costs, and the solution was delivered with no moving parts, eliminating the need for routine maintenance.

The Outcome

Our solution was able to detect the presence of moving personnel and vehicles at a range of several kilometres.

The technology is capable of simultaneous target detection for both close and long-range distances, scanning hilltops and valleys without manually tilting the radar.

We also incorporated low radio transmission power to allow for safe human operation. In feedback, our solution fulfilled all our client’s unique requirements.

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Millimetre-Wave Radar for Foreign Object Detection

Our client’s vision was for a low size, weight and power solution that could be easily deployed into the market without compromising high accuracy performance.
- John Doe, Chief Operations Officer, Plextek

The Challenge

Plextek works with large defence contractors on a range of complex hardware programmes and often delays of designing a single module can set back the whole project.

These challenging requirements mean that the appropriate technical expertise is not always widely available, making delays hard to recover from.

Design, manufacturing, test and supply chain resource are all required from the start to allow potential issues to be prevented and a concurrent engineering approach to be taken.

The Approach

We are quick to understand requirements and communicate these between design, project and quality assurance teams, becoming a valuable extension of our client’s design team.

Our specialist manufacturing, test and supply chain engineers are involved from the start of every project. Manufacturing and test plans are then generated to provide a framework essential for robust design and supply.

As an independent company, we select, audit and test suppliers and materials based on evidence not ease.

The Outcome

Selecting the best resource for the requirement or working with existing suppliers, we’re able to share our knowledge of both low and high volume factory test systems to implement a solution that gets results.

We pride ourselves on delivering fully tested production hardware and take the strain of this process off clients by managing on-going issues, such as component obsolesce and changes to environmental legislation.

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Measuring Training Effectiveness

Home » Case Study » Defence

The Challenge

Training of complex procedures requires 1-2-1 training. Often companies employ “train-the-trainer” structures to cascade knowledge and skills. However, the quality and reach of training is difficult to measure.

Our client required a cost-effective method to ensure specialist procedures were followed.

The Approach

Through close observation of our client’s training methods we captured their domain insight and evidence-based content.

By applying our software and imaging capabilities we developed an immersive virtual training environment using Oculus Rift.

Our system uses a dynamic structure to measure effectiveness through the trainee’s choices and decisions.

The Outcome

Our modular approach provided our client with a flexible, validated training solution that can be deployed at scale.

A direct training approach has also enabled the client to improve their training content based on end-user feedback.

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Technology Assessment of Digital Systems

Home » Case Study » Defence

The Brief

UK forces use video cameras extensively for remote monitoring and surveillance. Frequently, these video streams are carried over wireless links.

With most current systems using analogue technology, our client, Ministry of Defence, wanted to assess the performance improvements by moving to digital.

This required a technology assessment of existing digital system architectures to evaluate whether the potential benefits were there to build future sensor networks.

The Approach

Plextek performed an industry survey of technology developments and an assessment of key requirements from user representatives.

After shortlisting a set of approaches and testing a range of user panels, we developed a demonstrator system to showcase the best combination of technologies.

The Impact

Playing a leading role in preparing the technical requirements of our client’s procurement contract, we ensured the system design met the user requirements through radio performance testing, video quality assessment and system acceptance testing.

“I write to express my thanks on behalf of the Director and the User community for the contribution of the Plextek team to the success of the programme. Your support throughout the programme, often at short notice, has always been of a high standard.”

The system is now deployed within the DE&S Delivery Team and the user community.

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Armour Integrity Monitoring System (AIMS™)

Home » Case Study » Defence

The Brief

Body armour can be damaged during training or operations resulting in considerable reduction in its ability to provide impact protection. Damage to the ceramic plate often takes the form of hairline fractures which are only visible during x-ray analysis.

Answering a Defence Science and Technology Laboratory research call to reduce the 100% need to return body armour for x-ray analysis, we developed an infield integrity monitoring and testing sensor.

We have further developed the sensor technology for potential application within the Defence and Security market.

The Approach

To be retrofitted onto existing body armour stocks, the candidate solution would have to be low size, weight, power and cost as well as have a low training burden for users.

We developed a micro-electromechanical system with fine-tuned accelerometer sensors to detect shock waves associated with the formation of cracks caused by an impact.

Extensive non-destructive testing of our sensor validated our approach. With form factor and power consumption in mind, the sensor has a 5 year operating life from a slim coin cell battery.

The Impact

AIMSTM is a low size, weight and power sensor solution that delivers immediate status of the body armour to the user, removing the need for costly routine x-ray analysis.

The user can rapidly assess the integrity of their body armour through status information presented as a simple, single screen graphic on a Smartphone App or by a press-to-test button showing a simple pass/fail via an LED indicator.

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