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20 Nov 19. DTI shows cornucopia of R&D projects for Thai military. The Defence Technology Institute (DTI), a Thai MoD agency, displayed a number of different projects it is currently engaged in at Defense & Security 2019 in Bangkok, including unmanned systems, a new tank simulator and 8×8 armoured vehicles.
Col Chatchapong Punpayak, business development director at DTI, emphasised the importance of unmanned systems to the Thai military. Indeed, DTI is cooperating with Milrem Robotics and EOS to develop a UGV called D-Iron that can be used by infantry in restive areas.
The D-Iron, which is essentially the Milrem THeMIS, could carry an armament on an EOS R400S-Mk2 RWS, for example, or it could carry cargo. One prototype has been created since a feasibility study kicked off in 2018, and the Royal Thai Army (RTA) is to use it shortly in field trials. If the RTA finds it desirable, it could be assembled locally in Thailand.
UAVs are another area of R&D for DTI in conjunction with individual armed forces services. Punpayak described a family of UAVs, with the smallest being the D-Eyes 01 quadrotor with 2.5km range and 40-minute endurance. It carries a 10x optical zoom camera and x8 infrared camera.
The 5.6kg D-Eyes 02 is a hand-launched mini-UAV for reconnaissance missions lasting up to 2h and within a range of 10km, and it recently received certification from the RTA. Meanwhile, the D-Eyes 03 small tactical UAV is for artillery observers. The 16.9kg aircraft has an endurance of 4h and range of 40km but it requires a runway for take-off and landing.
The medium-weight D-Eyes 04 is an interesting platform as it involves cooperation with Beihang University in China. The D-Eyes 04 could be used as a pilot training platform as well as for surveillance, Punpayak suggested, and it has a 200km range, endurance of 12-20h and can carry a 150kg payload.
Three types of explosive ordnance disposal robot were on display by DTI, all of which were designed in house. The smaller ones are the D-Empir v2.1 and v3. These underwent a one-year test and evaluation process, and were developed in cooperation from the Mahanakorn University of Technology. They carry a water disruptor.
The Noonar is a lightweight throwable robot being developed in collaboration with the Prince of Songkla University. It weighs less than 6kg.
Shephard received an update on the Black Widow Spider 8×8 armoured vehicle project as well. The prototype featured in the opening ceremony demonstration. It was recently returned to DTI after a one-year evaluation by the army and, since then, DTI fitted a UT30 Mk2 30mm unmanned turret from Elbit Systems.
After its first completion in 2015, DTI and the Preecha Thavorn Industrial Company modified the Black Widow Spider to better meet RTA requirements. The vehicle must be approved by an acceptance committee before the project can proceed further, so DTI is awaiting that announcement. It was shown fitted with applique armour that somewhat changed its appearance, although it still closely resembles the Singaporean Terrex.
There is also an 8×8 version called the Amphibious Armoured Personnel Carrier (AAPC) that was exhibited at the same show two years ago. It is pictured above fitted with a 12.7mm machine gun and 40mm automatic grenade launcher in an RWS from ST Technologies. This vehicle too must await user reports that will be passed to an acceptance committee to decide its fate.
Also on display at the DTI booth was a digitised BTR-3CS 8×8 command post vehicle for the RTA.
Another innovation from DTI is a tank simulator for the VT4 main battle tanks that the RTA has bought from Norinco in China. DTI has developed its own three-station simulator for the VT4, with an engineer saying the project commenced some 3-4 months earlier and has cost just THB1.5 million ($50,000).
A mock-up of the simulator was on display at Defense & Security 2019, with three large high-fidelity touchscreens for the commander, gunner and driver respectively in a replicated tank environment. Immediately after the show, the simulator was due to be delivered to the RTA. It is designed to be housed in a building to allow three-man crews to train together on tank operational procedures. (Source: Shephard)
21 Nov 19. Stirring R&D efforts at the heart of Asia: Naval Group creates the R&D center of excellence for naval defense in Singapore. On the 21st of November, Naval Group launched the new center of excellence for Research and Development in Singapore. This initiative will create a world-class expertise based in Singapore for strategic naval defense research topics. After the success of the Start We Up innovation marathon held in June 2019, bringing together local start-ups, SME’s and Naval Group experts to foster open innovation, Naval Group implements a new pillar of its R&D strategy in Singapore.
As a master of disruptive technologies thanks to an ambitious R&D policy, with 10% of its revenues invested in R&D efforts, Naval Group expands its unique research capability in Singapore. Through this initiative, Naval Group bolsters and shapes Singapore’s future research capability turning the city-state into a world-class pool of expertise for the naval defense sector.
The most talented researchers and engineers of Asia will join their strengths to study the latest innovative trends which are relevant to the defense sector. This international collaborative platform of exchanges located in Singapore will therefore respond to a triple objective: boost innovation in new strategic domains such as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, create a supply of innovative technologies for the regional market as well as supporting the joint effort led by both Singapore and France regarding R&D investments. With this center, Naval Group reinforces its cooperation with the Singaporean industry and academia by delivering the best technologies through co-development processes in order to enhance the city-state’s sovereignty at sea.
“As a long-term partner, Naval Group is committed to the development of R&D activities in Singapore. We are incredibly proud to create this R&D powerhouse in the beating heart of Asia. This center of scientific research and development will serve strategic interests thanks to the rich ecosystem offered by Singapore combined with our 400 years of technological development. We are happy to share our expertise and know-how, to gain from them with the region’s brightest minds in order to solve the naval industry’s most critical operational challenges. I look forward to see how the co-developed technologies generated by Singaporean scientists will directly benefit to the city-state” says Alain Guillou, Naval Group Senior Executive Vice President.
19 Nov 19. New miniature dual-loop coupler enables microwave power monitoring in confined spaces. The new AM90CD-LP miniature narrowband dual-loop coupler from microwave component manufacturer Link Microtek enables designers to incorporate forward and reverse power monitoring in military or commercial microwave systems that are subject to tight space constraints. With flange dimensions of 41.5 x 41.5mm and a waveguide length of just 33.6mm, the device is an ideal alternative to much larger conventional broadband couplers. It features a rugged construction and is particularly suitable for airborne applications as it is fabricated from lightweight aluminium and can be pressurised up to 30psig if required. The new coupler can be specified with any standard size of waveguide, allowing it to be used for a wide range of system operating frequencies. As a dual-loop device, it monitors both forward and reverse power at the same time, utilising the two SMA ports on each side, one of which is fitted with a termination. Capable of handling 15kW peak power and 400W average power, the AM90CD-LP delivers a nominal coupling factor of 40dB. The device is finished with chromium-free passivation, for enhanced corrosion resistance, and satin black epoxy paint.
19 Nov 19. New Threats Prompt Japanese Military to Refocus R&D. New threats in domains such as space, cyberspace and the electromagnetic realm have caused Japan’s Ministry of Defense to rethink its research-and-development priorities, a government scientist said Nov. 19. These three new areas of concern have caused a shift from the previous focus on simply sea, air and land, said Hirokazu Hokazono, deputy commissioner and chief defense scientist at the MoD’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA).
“The security environment is changing at extremely high speed,” he said at the DSEI Japan conference held near Tokyo. More powerful regional rivals such as China are introducing technology for these kinds of cross-domain operations and Japan must keep pace, he said.
The ATLA has identified six top R&D priorities for where the ministry must invest, he said. The goal is for the Japan Self-Defense Force to transform itself into a “multi-domain defense force,” and strengthen the ability for the Japan-U.S. alliance to deter and counter threats, he added. To do that, its military R&D must shift focus from platform-centric to a “capability oriented” approach. The top six priorities are: cyber; underwater technologies; the electromagnetic spectrum; hypersonics; persistent wide-area intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and network operations. For cyber, the focus will be on boosting cyber resilience; high-fidelity cyber training and simulation; vulnerability and cyber attack detection; and anti-tampering resistant software, he said.
“Needless to say, all of the activities of the Japanese Ministry of Defense and the Japan Self-Defense Force is underpinned by the stable use of cyberspace,” Hokazono said.
In the underwater realm, the ministry is looking to boost the endurance of unmanned underwater and surface vessels and to give them non-GPS alternatives for precision navigation and timing, better underwater communications and manned-unmanned teaming.
“It would be very useful to have long-endurance multi-purpose platforms such as UUVs and USVs cooperating in a group manner by using an underwater network,” he said.
To achieve superiority in the electromagnetic spectrum, R&D investments will focus on solid-state lasers for communications; the use of meta-material to reflect radio frequencies; infrared suppression and directed energy weapons, he said.
Like Russia, China and the United States, Japan wants to invest in hypersonics technology. To do so, it must develop an air-launched scramjet engine, boost its guidance systems and thermal protections, he said.
As for wide-area persistent ISR, Japan is a nation of some 7,000 islands, both big and small. Space and maritime situational awareness are priorities and the ability to share information will be increasingly important and must be improved, he said. Technology priorities include: over-the-horizon radars; advanced multi-static radars; signals fusion and high-resolution automatic identification system tracking. AIS is the transponders placed on large boats for tracking.
As for network operations, Japan needs high-throughput wireless communications with lower latency and high security. 5G will be a key enabler, Hokazono said. The Japanese Self-Defense Force also wants to secure communications through quantum cryptography, he added. (Source: glstrade.com/NDIA)
19 Nov 19. US Army project makes key findings in ribosomal monomers research. A research project funded by the US Army has made a breakthrough in the quest for a new class of high-performance materials and therapeutics for soldiers.
Synthetic biologists at Northwestern University have created new substrates that could guide the manufacturing of new classes of synthetic polymers. Researchers developed a set of design rules that guide how ‘ribosomes can incorporate new kinds of monomers’.
The findings could lead to the creation of advanced materials that could deliver capabilities for use by the army.
US Army Research Office polymer chemistry programme manager Dr Dawanne Poree said: “These findings are an exciting step forward to achieving sequence-defined synthetic polymers, which has been a grand challenge in the field of polymer chemistry.
“The ability to harness and adapt cellular machinery to produce non-biological polymers would, in essence, bring synthetic materials into the realm of biological functions. This could render advanced, high-performance materials such as nanoelectronics, self-healing materials, and other materials of interest for the army.”
The new synthetic polymers could be used in applications such as developing electronics, advanced solar cells and nanofabrication, and personal protective gear for the soldiers, Poree added.
In a statement, the US Army Research Laboratory said: “This project looked at how to re-engineer biological machinery to allow it to work with non-biological building blocks that would offer a route to creating synthetic polymers with the precision of biology.”
The team sought to expand the range of monomers used by the ribosome. The monomers need to be attached to Transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNAs).
Researchers chose a new process called flexizyme for linking the monomers to the tRNAs. They created 37 monomers from a diverse repertoire of scaffolds. The project was carried out under the US Department of Defense’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives programme. (Source: army-technology.com)
18 Nov 19. CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL), a leading global network services and technology company, and Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) supplied equipment, software, and services to support the industry’s premier supercomputing conference at this week’s SC19, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis.
CenturyLink and Infinera, along with other contributors from the networking industry, academia, and government, are delivering multi-terabit capacity to SCinet, the dedicated high-capacity network that supports revolutionary applications and some of the world’s most advanced supercomputing experiments at the SC19 conference. Multi-terabit capacity enables the network to more rapidly transmit large amounts of data to meet the needs of this supercomputing community.
CenturyLink will deliver this capacity using the Infinera Groove G30 Compact Modular Platform running 2 x 600 gigabits per second metro wavelengths. The deployment will connect the Colorado Convention Center in Denver with wide-area networks in major U.S. cities, demonstrating CenturyLink’s rapid provisioning of 100-gigabit services.
“A scalable, agile, and low-latency infrastructure plays a critical role in addressing the demanding and ever-increasing connectivity requirements of high-performance computing and the global research and education community,” said Andrew Dugan, Chief Technology Officer at CenturyLink. “Delivering terabit-scale capacity for SCinet underscores our commitment to serving the needs of these customers in their pursuit of academic excellence.”
This year’s SCinet leverages the CenturyLink core optical transport network and the Infinera Groove G30, a stackable compact modular platform, delivering terabit capacity for a broad range of metro, regional, and long-haul connectivity applications. CenturyLink operates a robust global 450,000-route-mile fiber network and utilizes Infinera’s automated, high-capacity transport solutions in its backbone network.
“We are pleased to collaborate with CenturyLink once again to bring cutting-edge technology to support SCinet’s high-performance network with speed, scale, and agility,” said Bob Jandro, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales at Infinera.
18 Nov 19. USAF tests F-35A survival kit for extreme Alaskan temperatures. The US Air Force (USAF) has developed and tested an arctic survival kit designed to ensure the protection of the pilots of the F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft. The test was performed by airmen from the 354th Fighter Wing in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska, US. A team of airmen used a subzero chamber to replicate the harsh temperatures of the Alaskan landscape. The new kit is intended to protect pilots from subzero temperatures ‘in the event of an ejection’. The USAF stated that the existing survival gear would not fit under the seat of an F-35A aircraft.
66th Training Squadron, Detachment 1 Arctic Survival School noncommissioned officer in charge of operations technical sergeant Garret Wright said: “We are testing the kit that Tech Sgt John Williams, Tech Sgt Benjamin Ferguson and myself have developed over the last year in preparation for the integration of the F-35.” Testing involved two separate chambers, with one of them at -20°F and the other at -40°F.
Team members equipped with standard cold-weather gear entered the chambers and checked how long they can wear the specialised gear from the survival kit. The personnel stayed in the chamber for a period of six hours after putting on the new gear.
Wright was tasked with monitoring the condition of the test observers every half an hour. Around five hours from the start of the test, he found that the temperature in one of the chambers was -65°F and the other was -51°F.
Wright added: “After realising that the ambient room temperature was at -65°F at the five-hour mark, I knew that we had accomplished far more than we originally set out to.
“Wing leaders wanted a product that would keep pilots alive at -40°F and although unplanned, the findings were clear that the sleep system could far surpass this goal.”
Following the completion of the test, the four test members came out of the subzero chamber and provided feedback on the equipment.
The team expressed confidence that the system can help pilots withstand the extreme temperatures in Alaska. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
20 Nov 19. Denchi Group to Expand its Engineering Capability with Additional Design Team in Heart of Cambridge Technology Cluster. Further job openings now also emerging in its Thurso (Caithness) facility. Acknowledged specialist in high-reliability energy storage solutions, Denchi Group has announced a significant extension of its operations. As part of the company’s roadmap to proliferate into new markets and strengthen its core technical capabilities, it is opening a product development hub in St Ives, Cambridgeshire. This will complement Denchi’s longstanding engineering resources in Thurso, Scotland.
At the new Cambridgeshire site, focus will be placed on making major advances in battery and charger design. It will leverage the expertise that the company has built up in mission-critical defence and aerospace applications, and bring this to a wider range of prospective usage models – where heightened levels of reliability, safety and functional longevity are increasingly being mandated. Product areas that newly-recruited staff will be working include renewal energy generation/grid balancing, compact and lightweight high-density batteries for use in portable industrial equipment, ultra-reliable back-up power systems, plus lighting and power solutions for the mining industry.
“Denchi, as a company, has witnessed a great deal of growth and diversification over the course of the last few years,” states Nick Russel, Chairman of Denchi. “The pace at which the energy storage sector is evolving means that ingenious new approaches to battery electronics, software and mechanical design are going to be required, especially in the high-reliability markets we serve. The fact that Denchi’s battery and charging systems are 100% developed and manufactured in house, means we are able to provide our customers with fully-optimised turnkey power solutions that exactly match their application demands.”
“Placing this centre in Cambridgeshire gives us direct access to the wealth of world-class engineering talent that is present there. In addition, it allows us to highlight the great opportunities that also exist at our established Thurso facility. So, if you are looking for a new challenge, we recommend contacting us to find out about the exciting future career possibilities we are able to offer,” he concludes.
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.