Department for Transport Awards Plextek Funding for Vehicle Tagging Solution

Cambridge, UK – 8th August 2018 – Design and innovation consultancy, Plextek have been awarded funding by the Department for Transport (DfT) for development of a novel vehicle tagging solution for intelligent and autonomous vehicle systems.

Funded by DfT’s Transport Technology Research Innovation Grants (T-TRIG), Plextek have set out to develop a proof of concept demonstrator for a small, low-cost and ultra-low-power tag that bounces back automotive radar signals with a unique coded signature.

When this signature is detected it allows automotive radars to uniquely identify and locate objects – addressing a current challenge within the automotive sensor industry.

Chris Roff, Head of Sensor Systems, summarises the benefits:

In the future, these tags could be attached to vehicles (e.g. built into the number plate) or to roadside objects such as road signs. A unique aspect of our solution is that the tag’s power requirement is kept extremely low, which opens up a really broad range of use cases.

The tags could also allow vehicles to operate autonomously in complex environments with a higher level of confidence, in keeping with DfT’s aims for providing safe, secure and sustainable transport.”

This breakthrough in tagging technology extends the capability of standard automotive radars to allow them to uniquely identify a wide range of objects in their environment.

Information received by the radar can then be used for a number of applications including recognition of road signage and other infrastructure, identification of other road vehicles and supporting autonomous convoy operation. The technology could also be used in other transport domains, including the identification of drones and small aircraft, and the monitoring of small craft at sea in poor weather conditions.

Agnieszka Krysztul, Project Manager, concludes:

Our low-cost proof of concept embodiment has demonstrated technical feasibility and also given us a route for commercialisation in the automotive sector, where product cost will be paramount. We’re excited to be looking into these routes now so that we can share this capability within the industry.”

For more information about our work in industrial sensors, please visit our industrial sensors page.

Notes to editors

Based near Cambridge, UK, Plextek designs new products, systems, and services for its clients in a diverse range of industries including defence & security, medical & healthcare, and wireless communications.

Central to its culture is the company’s ability to innovate, taking an idea from concept to market. For more than 25 years the team of consultants, engineers and project managers has turned our clients’ business opportunities into commercial success, designing, manufacturing and supplying leading-edge products. Supported by our network of suppliers, commercial partners and research organisations, Plextek is the trusted partner of choice for more than 300 commercial clients, government agencies, and ambitious start-up companies.

For images, information or interview requests, please contact: Adam Roberts via email: press@plextek.com or call: 01799 533200

Radar trials final

Cambridge, UK – 21st June 2018 – Innovation consultancy, Plextek have achieved groundbreaking results after successful air trials of a millimetre wave micro-radar designed for autonomous unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Funded by the newly formed Defence and Security Accelerator, as part of the Autonomous Last Mile Resupply competition, Plextek has tested the performance of a low size, weight and power radar as a sense and avoid drone mounted sensor.

Operating in the 60 GHz mm-waveband, results from trials indicated that the radar can provide a range of useful information to aid navigation in complex environments.



Peter Doig, Business Manager, Defence summarises:

For a drone to perform fully autonomous flight into unknown locations, it will be necessary for the radar sensor to detect the surrounding environment in front of and beneath the drone. In this manner, our trial was a success as results showed strongly visible returns from buildings, vegetation and objects.

Looking into the future, although it is possible that a single radar could provide sense and avoid capability as well as identifying suitable landing sites; within the wider systems context, this would more likely be realised with two sensors, one forward facing and one downward facing.”

The data gathered from the trials will be analysed in Plextek’s next phase of work within the program to further help understand the radar’s performance in different scenarios and environmental conditions.

Notes to editors

Based near Cambridge, UK, Plextek designs new products, systems, and services for its clients in a diverse range of industries including defence & security, medical & healthcare, and wireless communications.

Central to its culture is the company’s ability to innovate, taking an idea from concept to market. For more than 25 years the team of consultants, engineers and project managers has turned our clients’ business opportunities into commercial success, designing, manufacturing and supplying leading-edge products. Supported by our network of suppliers, commercial partners and research organisations, Plextek is the trusted partner of choice for more than 300 commercial clients, government agencies, and ambitious start-up companies.

For images, information or interview requests, please contact: Adam Roberts via email: press@plextek.com or call: 01799 533200

BrightSparks

Cambridge, UK – 10th May 2018 – James Henderson, consultant at electronic design consultancy Plextek, has been named as a winner of Electronics Weekly’s “BrightSparks, Design Engineers of Tomorrow” Award. The electronics magazine’s award, in partnership with RS Components, honors an elite class of 30 engineers for their development initiatives and accomplishments within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors.

With nominees chosen by a judging panel of industry experts and leaders, the BrightSparks award highlights the achievements of young engineers and students who are already making a difference in the first few years of their working lives and are showing the promise to becoming the people behind tomorrow’s innovation in their respective industries.

This award marks the culmination of years of hard work for James as he has led our technical development and capability in mm-wave micro-radar for a number of projects at Plextek, including our recent radar work into Foreign Object Detection.

Electronics Weekly’s BrightSparks 2018 is the second year the programme has been running with this year’s ceremony being held at the prestigious IET Savoy Place in London.

BrightSparks award winner, James Henderson, Consultant in Antennas & Propagation summarises:

I’m really pleased to have been selected as an EW Brightspark. I’ve been involved in many exciting and cutting edge projects at Plextek, mentored by some brilliant engineers, and it’s great to have been recognised as someone to follow in their footsteps doing something which I enjoy and I’m passionate about.”

James Henderson receiving his award, presented by Clive Couldwell, Group Editor of Electronics Weekly (left) and Lindsley Ruth, CEO of RS Components (right).

Picture courtesy of Electronics Weekly, for more information about the award please visit: https://www.electronicsweekly.com/brightsparks/

Notes to editors

Based near Cambridge, UK, Plextek designs new products, systems, and services for its clients in a diverse range of industries including defence & security, medical & healthcare, and wireless communications.

Central to its culture is the company’s ability to innovate, taking an idea from concept to market. For more than 25 years the team of consultants, engineers and project managers has turned our clients’ business opportunities into commercial success, designing, manufacturing and supplying leading-edge products. Supported by our network of suppliers, commercial partners and research organisations, Plextek is the trusted partner of choice for more than 300 commercial clients, government agencies, and ambitious start-up companies.

For images, information or interview requests, please contact: Adam Roberts via email: press@plextek.com or call: 01799 533200

By Marcus C. Walden

Abstract: This paper describes the design and characterization of a frequency-scanning meanderline antenna for operation at 60 GHz. The design incorporates SIW techniques and slot radiating elements. The amplitude profile across the antenna aperture has been weighted to reduce sidelobe levels, which makes the design attractive for radar applications. Measured performance agrees with simulations, and the achieved beam profile and sidelobe levels are better than previously documented frequency-scanning designs at V and W bands.

Read more…

Plextek presents two technical papers to the world’s leading experts on Antennas and Propagation at the IEEE International Symposium in July.

Cambridge, UK – 21st June 2017 – Design and innovation consultancy, Plextek will be presenting two technical papers at this year’s IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting in San Diego.

Widely recognised as a premier international forum, the world’s leading experts in antennas and propagation from academia, industry, and government will be there to discuss ideas on cutting-edge research and topics.

The week-long event will host a plethora of technical, education and social activities covering different specialist areas on antennas, propagation, electromagnetic engineering, and radio science.

Dr. Marcus Walden, Technical Lead in Antennas and Propagation commented:

“The Antennas and Propagation Symposium is a great forum to meet and network with people at the forefront of their technology areas, to exchange ideas and learn about cutting-edge topics. Antennas and propagation are integral to all radar and communications systems and, therefore, participation at events like this benefits the Plextek engineering design process. The knowledge gained from previous events has fed directly into Plextek system designs, including those for radar, smart-meter reading, and vehicle-telemetry amongst others. I’m really pleased to be able to present and share ideas with other industry thought leaders at such a prestigious event.”

The event will be held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California and takes place from Sunday 9th of July to Friday 14th of July.

Dr. Marcus Walden will be delivering a 20 min presentation titled, “Antenna G/T Degradation with Inefficient Receive Antennas at HF (2-30 MHz)” as part of the session on Electronically Small Antenna Characteristics on Wednesday 12th of July.

Marcus will also participate in a two-hour interactive forum, where he will present his paper “A Frequency-Scanning Substrate-Integrated-Waveguide Meanderline Antenna for Radar Applications at 60 GHz” in the session on 60 GHz Radars and Communications on Thursday 13th of July.

For more information about our work on Antennas and Propagation, please visit our Antennas & Propagation page.

Notes to editors

Based near Cambridge, UK, Plextek designs new products, systems, and services for its clients in a diverse range of industries including defence & security, medical & healthcare, and wireless communications.

Central to its culture is the company’s ability to innovate, taking an idea from concept to market. For more than 25 years, our team of consultants, engineers and project managers has turned our clients’ business opportunities into commercial success, designing, manufacturing and supplying leading-edge products. Supported by our network of suppliers, commercial partners and research organisations, Plextek is the trusted partner of choice for more than 300 commercial clients, government agencies, and ambitious start-up companies.

For images, information or interview requests, please contact: Adam Roberts via email: press@plextek.com or call: 01799 533200