Technology Specialists for Safe Cities

Plextek features as a “Company Focus” in Counter Terror Business magazine to discuss how cutting-edge technology is being applied to create safer cities.

We showcase solutions that are currently tackling the biggest security and public safety challenges in transport, government and critical national infrastructure.

To read the full article please click here.

For more information, contact Nick Koiza, Head of Security Business, via nicholas.koiza@plextek.com

Drone Warfare: The Autonomous Debate

Peter Doig, Head of Defence, features in Engineering and Technology magazine this week. Addressing the development of drone technology within the commercial sectors, Peter comments on how the UK defence research industry can take advantage of the wider innovation and research funding pool available to leapfrog obstacles.

To read the full article please click here.

For more information, contact Peter via peter.doig@plextek.com

micro-radar

Vlog: Micro Radar for Unmanned Aerial Systems

Peter Doig

By: Peter Doig
Business Manager, Defence

21st May 2018

Home » Defence

For a number of years now, we’ve been researching the uses of high-frequency mm-wave micro-radar for a number of different applications.

In 2017, we were awarded funding in DSTL’s newly formed Defence and Security Accelerator competition, in which we were able to develop our micro radar system further to enable an Unmanned Air System (UAS) to autonomously provide resupply of equipment from up to 30 km away.

Peter discusses how the technology has developed over the years, our progress within the program and the capability the technology brings.

Transcript

So Plextek have been researching and developing millimetre-wave 60 gigahertz micro-radar technology for the past four years predominantly working with DSTL, starting under their autonomous systems underpinning research program where we developed a radar testbed to prove the utility of the radar to enable small drones to operate in complex urban environments.

This enabled Plextek to then design and build a low-cost compact micro-radar prototype which could be included within the autonomous last-mile resupply program. So under DSTL’s autonomous last mile resupply program, a defence and security accelerator competition, we wanted to assess the performance of the micro-radar mounted on a drone so we undertook a number of trials to measure the performance of the radar against a range of terrain types and objects, including trees, hedges, powerlines and buildings and vehicles.

We successfully demonstrated the ability of the radar to detect powerlines out to 60 metres and vehicles out to 300 metres.

Moving forward, we are keen to work with partners either who are providing a UAV or an unmanned ground vehicle to optimise the radar and its various parameters for the chosen platform and then advance the radar processing to successfully demonstrate the various concept of operations that are required, for example the autonomous sense and avoid, or possibly the need and desire for accurate landing capability where we would look to link the radar with a passive radar retroreflector which could act as a beacon for the solider with regards to his resupply requirement.

However, ultimately there are lots of exciting exploitation opportunities for the radar into different defence requirements and we’re really excited about listening to those requirements from people and working with them to meet it.

For a number of years now, we’ve been researching the uses of high-frequency mm-wave micro-radar for a number of different applications.

In 2017, we were awarded funding by DSTL’s newly formed Defence and Security Accelerator competition, in which we were able to develop our micro radar system further to enable an Unmanned Air System (UAS) to autonomously provide resupply of equipment from up to 30 km away.

Peter discusses how the technology has developed over the years, our progress within the program and the capability the technology brings.

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Transcript

So Plextek have been researching and developing millimetre-wave 60 gigahertz micro-radar technology for the past four years predominantly working with DSTL, starting under their autonomous systems underpinning research program where we developed a radar testbed to prove the utility of the radar to enable small drones to operate in complex urban environments.

This enabled Plextek to then design and build a low-cost compact micro-radar prototype which could be included within the autonomous last-mile resupply program. So under DSTL’s autonomous last mile resupply program, a defence and security accelerator competition, we wanted to assess the performance of the micro-radar mounted on a drone so we undertook a number of trials to measure the performance of the radar against a range of terrain types and objects, including trees, hedges, powerlines and buildings and vehicles.

We successfully demonstrated the ability of the radar to detect powerlines out to 60 metres and vehicles out to 300 metres.

Moving forward, we are keen to work with partners either who are providing a UAV or an unmanned ground vehicle to optimise the radar and its various parameters for the chosen platform and then advance the radar processing to successfully demonstrate the various concept of operations that are required, for example the autonomous sense and avoid, or possibly the need and desire for accurate landing capability where we would look to link the radar with a passive radar retroreflector which could act as a beacon for the solider with regards to his resupply requirement.

However, ultimately there are lots of exciting exploitation opportunities for the radar into different defence requirements and we’re really excited about listening to those requirements from people and working with them to meet it.

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Armour Integrity Monitoring System

Vlog: Armour Integrity Monitoring System

Bede O'Neill - Business Development Consultant, Defence

By: Bede O’Neill
Business Development Consultant, Defence

4th May 2018

Home » Defence

Body armour worn by soldiers can become damaged through accidental collisions and knocks. In most cases, visual inspection of the armour surface is insufficient in ascertaining its integrity and, as a precautionary measure, the armour is shipped back to the OEM for extensive X-Ray analysis.

In our first vlog, Bede discusses our solution to this problem, how we approached this issue and what we learned.

Transcript

With regards to our new sensor, AIMS – armour integrity monitoring system originally started as an answer to a research call to reduce the 100% need to return the body armour for x-ray analysis. To establish its integrity, you need to send it back to the equipment manufacturer for x-ray analysis, which obviously incurs quite a large cost logistically but also you remove that piece of equipment from service and from circulation so it can’t be used.

There was a research call to understand whether this could be speeded up and whether there was another way of determining the integrity of the ceramic body armour without the need for x-ray analysis. Plextek answered this original research call and put forward quite a novel sensor solution in concept. What we delivered was the ability to understand whether the plate had been fractured or not.

The sensor system is quite big and needed to be accessed USB port which wasn’t really deemed practical. So we shrunk the concept down to a very small packaged sensor system, almost you would call it a fit and forget, where the interrogation of the sensor is via NFC, near-field communications and that is facilitated by a mobile phone handset, whether that be android or apple.

This allows us or allows the user to interrogate the status of the body armour without the need for specialist software, specialist laptops, leads or cables.

Body armour worn by soldiers can become damaged through accidental collisions and knocks. In most cases, visual inspection of the armour surface is insufficient in ascertaining its integrity and, as a precautionary measure, the armour is shipped back to the OEM for extensive X-Ray analysis.

In our first vlog, Bede discusses our solution to this problem, how we approached this issue and what we learned.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Transcript

With regards to our new sensor, AIMS – armour integrity monitoring system originally started as an answer to a research call to reduce the 100% need to return the body armour for x-ray analysis. To establish its integrity, you need to send it back to the equipment manufacturer for x-ray analysis, which obviously incurs quite a large cost logistically but also you remove that piece of equipment from service and from circulation so it can’t be used.

There was a research call to understand whether this could be speeded up and whether there was another way of determining the integrity of the ceramic body armour without the need for x-ray analysis. Plextek answered this original research call and put forward quite a novel sensor solution in concept. What we delivered was the ability to understand whether the plate had been fractured or not.

The sensor system is quite big and needed to be accessed USB port which wasn’t really deemed practical. So we shrunk the concept down to a very small packaged sensor system, almost you would call it a fit and forget, where the interrogation of the sensor is via NFC, near-field communications and that is facilitated by a mobile phone handset, whether that be android or apple.

This allows us or allows the user to interrogate the status of the body armour without the need for specialist software, specialist laptops, leads or cables.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Many sectors are already harnessing the power of open innovation, but the UK’s defence industry seems to lag behind. Plextek’s Chief Executive Officer, Nicholas Hill explains the benefits of open innovation for defence manufacturers and highlights examples of successful collaborations.

Brite Innovation Review interviews our Chief Executive Officer, Nicholas Hill.

To read the full article click here.