Sponsored By Oxley Developments
31 Jan 20. NSW Defence Innovation Network calls for quantum research proposals. A partnership between the NSW Defence Innovation Network and DST has issued a challenge, seeking multidisciplinary proposals in the field of quantum science and technologies.
The NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN), in partnership with the NSW government and the Defence Science and Technology Group, is calling for multidisciplinary proposals in the field of quantum science and technologies.
$1.5m will be invested to build two game-changing prototypes with encapsulated quantum devices to strengthen Australia’s leadership in quantum research.
NSW has distinct international leadership in the field of quantum science and technologies. The objective with the NSW Defence Industry Quantum Research Consortium is to harness and deepen the leadership position in NSW through targeted investment in areas of overlap between NSW capabilities and defence interests.
The purpose of the NSW Defence Industry Quantum Research Consortium is to enable multidisciplinary teams to produce two demonstrator units with encapsulated quantum devices within a 12-24 month time frame, to create lasting links to defence industry in the area of quantum technologies, and to catalyse additional investment in R&D in NSW.
Project proposals should be scoped only within the following themes:
- Bright source single photon emitters with applications in distributed quantum keys for secure communications; and
- Nitrogen vacancy diamonds for magnetometry with specific applications in navigation or detection of small aberrations in magnetic fields, potentially for maritime deployment (e.g. persistent static sensors).
- Vision, ambition and innovation: the proposal must articulate how the project will address the significant step change in translating quantum science and technology, and should be ambitious and transformative.
- Leadership and team quality: the proposal must bring together the best team available. It should present a strong, multidisciplinary partnership of researchers (and industry partners as relevant) with the necessary skills and established track record of relevant technology research.
- National importance: the project must demonstrate how the research will contribute to addressing key challenges and needs of Defence.
- Impact: The proposal must demonstrate who will benefit from the research and how they will benefit. Plans should be described to disseminate results (subject to any security or IP restrictions), exchange knowledge, attract further investment and build collaborations.
- Commitment of collaborators: the proposal must demonstrate strong commitment from involved parties.
In order to be eligible, project proposals must demonstrate multidisciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration with a DIN member university as the lead organisation. Proposals must include substantive inputs from at least four DIN member universities.
Teams may include industry and academics from other states or other research organisations.
All project participants are restricted to citizens of the Five Eyes Alliance (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States) and NATO member countries.
NSW DIN is a university-led initiative of the NSW government and the Defence Science and Technology Group to enhance NSW defence industry capability through collaboration with government and academic research institutions.
Established in October 2017, and supported by seven leading universities, NSW DIN focuses on bringing world-class research capabilities and innovation to the defence sector.
Citizens of possibly allied countries not covered by the named treaties are subject to approval by the Defence Innovation Network. The application form is available on request at email@example.com.
Researchers and defence industry interested to participate in the call should contact DIN and register their interest to make a submission. DIN will be able to connect interested parties with other potential team members on request.
Completed proposals must be submitted electronically by 5pm, 11 March 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.org (Source: Defence Connect)
30 Jan 20. DOD plans for security-focused guidance for DevSecOps. The Defense Department plans to release a security-focused DevSecOps reference plan by the summer.
Peter Ranks, the Defense Department’s deputy CIO for information enterprise, told FCW that DOD plans to unveil a companion document to its enterprise DevSecOps reference design, which outlined everything from concepts to tools needed to execute modern software development practices, released in August 2019.
“Last year, we actually published a DevSecOps reference design, and this year, in the first half of the year we should publish essentially the companion document for that,” Ranks told FCW following MeriTalk and Unisys Smart 2020 event Jan. 23 in Washington, D.C.
Ranks said the original reference design plan emphasized “how to build software in this DevSecOps model and what it left behind was how — in language security accreditors understand — how to accredit and trust software on that kind of model.”
Part of that model is getting the Defense Department to wholly embrace continuous authority to operate (ATO), leaning a lot on what the Air Force has done.
“We’re adopting a lot of the Air Force’s tooling and methodology for DevSecOps,” Ranks told FCW. “We’ve had a lot of different folks work on something called continuous ATO to date; it’s just various versions of just accepting more risk. And I think the model that we’re proposing doesn’t require accepting more risk. It just requires accepting evidence in a different way and ingesting it in a different way.”
Part of that is finding a “common language” for ATOs so the process can be standardized, he said.
“We have to be able to make sure that every cyber control we articulate is testable in the software so that we can build that real time,” Ranks said during his presentation Jan. 23. “And the communities we have, the people we’ve hired and trained over the years don’t have that skill set. So there’s a workforce aspect of this too.”
Besides ATO, Ranks said DOD is focusing on defining software-defined infrastructure, a “cyber-approved version” for building and designing applications.
“We don’t need to invent those, we just need to pluck them from different parts of the department and make sure that people across the department understand them,” he told FCW. “A lot of reinventing the wheel that happens today is trying to figure out how we do that.” (Source: Defense Systems)
29 Jan 20. New bill could get Italy its own DARPA. As consensus grows in Italy that military planners need better access to civilian technology, a new law is being proposed to give the country its own version of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The new bill, which its authors claim has backing from the military and Italy’s political parties, envisages the setup of a new agency able to stimulate and coordinate the development of civil technologies for military application.
“We want to make the newest technology more accessible,” said Alessandra Maiorino, the Italian senator who is steering the bill through parliament.
Established in 1958 in response to the Soviet Union launching its Sputnik satellite the year before, DARPA has since teamed with universities, corporations and government partners to fund research programs to improve America’s defense capabilities.
Technologies it has worked on have also fed back into civilian applications, notably the internet, voice recognition and small GPS receivers.
“Thanks to the DARPA system, avangard civilian technologies are considered to have strategic value. This in turn has a cascade effect on the economy and on innovation in the U.S.,” according to the Italian bill.
The bill calls for the new Italian agency to be based near Pisa at an existing military research facility. An eight-person management board would include a military director, three civilian researchers and representatives from the four government ministries involved — the Department of Treasury, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Economic Development, and the Ministry for Education, University and Research.
The Joint Centre for Innovation and Strategic Technologies, known by its Italian acronym CINTES, will now be discussed in the Senate’s Defence Committee, where representatives from the military, academia and industry will be invited to give their opinions, said Maiorino.
The bill does not cite the required funding for the agency — a figure which has yet to be decided. However, it claims that Italy must quickly set up its own version of DARPA to keep up with France and Germany, who are already ahead in launching such an agency.
The bill claims France’s Innovation Défense Lab is now “allowing France’s DGA procurement agency to map out and evaluate civilian technologies and acquire those which are of interest to the defense sector.”
Germany’s planned ADIC agency is cited in the bill as an example of the government investigating “disruptive” technologies in cybernetics and other key technologies.
Maiorino, the senator backing the bill in Italy, is a member of the Five Star party, which has previously taken a unfavourable approach to defense investment. Before entering government in 2018, the party called for the cancellation of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
As such, the party’s support for the new bill reflects a progressively more positive view of the defense sector since it entered government. (Source: Defense News)
29 Jan 20. DARPA seeks military programme applications for new, high-speed computing system. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting industry input for an effort to significantly increase the computing power within US armed forces’ weapons programmes and subsystems, enabling those platforms to operate faster in an increasingly networked combat environment. Agency researchers are seeking “potential user cases” from industry for integrating 3D monolithic system-on-a-chip (3DSoC) technologies into Department of Defense programmes and platforms, a 22 January request for information (RFI) stated.
“The goal of this RFI is to establish possible applications and performance [and] capability limits of a 3DSoC” for current and future Pentagon and service-level platforms, with proposals due by 4 February, the RFI said. (Source: Jane’s)
28 Jan 20. How can the military use living bricks that multiply? Concrete erodes. Time and stress and the mere passive forces of being outside pull apart and chip away at stone. In remote or vulnerable environments, where supplies are hard to come by but rocket or mortar attacks are possible, stone structures that protect people may be under more strain. All of this led DARPA to ask the question: What if concrete could heal itself?
That’s the premise behind “Engineered Living Materials” (ELM), a program that seeks a revolution in military logistics “by developing living biomaterials that combine the structural properties of traditional building materials with attributes of living systems, including the ability to rapidly grow in situ, self-repair and adapt to the environment.”
It seeks, in other words, the utility, strength and rigidity of concrete with the healing properties of plants and the ability to self-replicate structures, like coral colonies stuck on fast-forward, in the middle of a disaster zone. If the military could grow bricks, it could build a workable shelter with a minimum of material. If the military could paint a rigid-yet-living runway onto a remote stretch, it could turn rough rural landings into a reliable air-supply route.
In “Biomineralization and Successive Regeneration of Engineered Living Building Materials,” published Jan. 15 in the journal Matter, a research team led by Wil Srubar of the University of Colorado, Boulder, created a brick of living material. The research was sponsored by DARPA.
The bricks start with a specific type of cyanobacteria, which absorb carbon dioxide and exude calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is a significant part of limestone, regularly used in cement, and its origins, too, are organic, with its formation dating back to the fossilization of ancient corals and shells. This bacteria, when combined with a sand-and-gelatin scaffolding, holds it together into a brick form.
Researchers split the first brick in half and combined the halves with the same scaffolding. Those bricks regrew into two bricks, and then the researchers did it twice more, creating a total of eight bricks from one initial construct.
While the research is still early, and the conditions of a lab are a far cry from the isolated areas where such material might be most in demand, the ability to grow a self-healing building material from bacteria and sand could have huge implications for the logistics loads. In already sand-rich environments, the living material could lighten the burden of initial supply and difficult resupply. In the rubble after a disaster, humans could use living bricks and existing material to rebuild shelter.
As if that is not ambitious enough, DARPA wants the living materials to “have the ability to respond to their environment in designed ways,” including detection of hazardous compounds. A sensing, self-healing, minimal supply base feels like something out of an alien army in science fiction. But the future of the forward operating base is very much alive. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
28 Jan 20. AFRL completes fourth flight test of XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator. The US Air Force (USAF) has completed the fourth flight test of the XQ-58A Valkyrie long-range, high subsonic, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrator over the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona on 23 January, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) announced the next day.
AFRL said in its announcement that the XQ-58A demonstrator successfully completed all test objectives, pointing out that the UAV had been flown at a higher altitude to acquire data that would be more representative of operational flight conditions.
“Flying at this altitude helped us gather important data such as vehicle response to temperature and vibration, which will prepare us as we move toward our next flight test,” said AFRL XQ-58A programme manager Michael Wipperman.
“We were able to show recovery for a successful flight at even higher altitudes. Given that we have overcome these challenges, we have confidence that the aircraft can continue its progression into flying in more representative conditions,” he added.
The latest test also marked a return of the XQ-58A demonstrator to flight testing, following repairs and a safety investigation after a landing incident at the conclusion of its third test flight on 9 October 2019.
The demonstrator had completed a 90-minute flight, successfully completing all test points, and deployed its recovery parachute for descent. However, high surface winds and a malfunction of its provisional flight test recovery system – essentially a prototype cushion – had resulted in damage to the air vehicle.
Under development as part of AFRL’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology (LCAAT) programme, the XQ-58A is designed to be a re-usable, runway-independent UAV that can be used for a broad range of missions. The type is intended to be acquired and fielded through a low-cost procurement initiative and is designed to be significantly less expensive to operate than traditional piloted or remotely operated vehicles, while providing comparable operational utility. (Source: Jane’s)
27 Jan 20. Elma Electronic Inc. has expanded its line of Cisco-based mission computing systems used in rugged and harsh environments. Based on modular building blocks, the new ComSys-536x family utilizes Elma’s extensive packaging expertise to offer many performance and expansion configurations that meet specific computing-at-the-edge requirements. The Type 6 COM Express-based systems can be configured using a choice of Intel CPUs, from Atom to Xeon to provide optimum power-to-performance in a compact, SWaP-optimized platform. Other ways the ComSys-536x systems are easily adapted to a user’s requirements is via expandable high-capacity SATA storage, upgradeable as mission requirements change. A host of I/O configurations spans from Gigabit Ethernet, CANbus and WiFi to Serial I/O, ARINC-429 and MIL-STD-1553 providing fast reconfiguration as applications evolve and mandate enhancements to the I/O. A growing number of mission-critical, remote applications need computing at-the-edge to ensure data integrity and system viability. Elma’s new ComSys-536x family withstands the harsh environments found in transportation, disaster recovery and mining and drilling operations to provide long-term, reliable performance. All Elma ComSys platforms include the Cisco 5921 embedded services router (ESR) with Mobile Ready Net capabilities. The 5921 is agnostic and designed for small, low-power, Linux-based platforms, making it highly adaptable for a range of custom systems that need high-performance, SWaP-optimized embedded computing. Pricing for and delivery for the ComSys-536x family is dependent upon configuration.
27 Jan 20. Five US DoD units partner to engage small businesses and government. Air Force Sustainment Center contract specialist Senior Airman Alzara Kimalova walks through power-off procedures for a C-130H Hercules at the Inaugural Pitch Day hosted by the Robins Spark Cell and AFSC Contracting. Credit: US Air Force/Tommie Horton. Five US Department of Defense (DoD) units have partnered to present the first-ever experimental concept Joint Small Business Innovation Research Open Topic for the first application period of 2020.
AFWERX, Army Futures Command, NavalX, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Security Innovation Network/Defense Innovation Unit have collaborated over the past few months to make the concept an inter-agency initiative to connect start-ups, small businesses and government.
AFWERX AFVentures lead Chris Benson said: “This represents a single front door for the DoD, where small companies can access a portion of the approximately $1.5bn of DoD SBIR funds within 90 days of applying.
“Companies that go on a Joint Phase I can now go to a Phase II with any of the participating organisations.”
In 2018, AFWERX revamped the congressionally funded SBIR process by reducing submission requirements and improving the time it takes to issue contracts, in partnership with other airforce organisations such as the Air Force Research Laboratory.
With the Open Topic concept, all majority businesses owned by the US with less than 500 employees will be able to initially submit their commercial off-the-shelf solutions.
Companies in Phase I of the programme can locate a DoD customer prior to applying for a Phase II after they receive a contract and $50,000 in seed funding. Additional money will help them complete a trial run with an end-user.
All companies that have received a Phase I contract are eligible for a federal government agency contract without the need for further competition.
The Open Topic was introduced in late 2018 until 2019. Since then, it has received more than 3,600 submissions and awarded more than 1,300 contracts worth approximately $240m.
Army Applications Lab technical insights and analysis director Casey Perly said: “By participating in a Joint SBIR Open Topic, we can work together to deliver tangible capabilities to the warfighter, and simultaneously provide small businesses better access to the DoD.”(Source: airforce-technology.com)
27 Jan 20. Vodafone Wants SIM Cards in Drones. Vodafone UK is calling for commercial and public sector drones to be fitted with SIM cards to give them cellular network connectivity. This would help reduce illegal and irresponsible drone use, the company argues, the like of which closed Gatwick Airport in December 2018 and which has caused many potentially catastrophic “near miss” incidents with passenger aircraft.
Ensuring drones were fitted with SIM cards would enable them to be flown beyond “visual line of sight” of their operators, the report argues, and for their true potential to be realised. Currently, drone pilots must keep their drones within sight at all times.
Cellular connection would also facilitate a necessary Unmanned Traffic Management system to monitor drone identity, location and flight plan authorisation, as well as enable dynamic no-fly zones, Vodafone argues.
Its Radio Positioning System, developed in 2018, would police such zones and prevent drones from entering them.
The network commissioned a report, written by WPI Economics, in which it calls for the government to:
- establish a “blue light” drones fund to enable emergency services and NHS trusts to trial drones for new purposes
- establish further testing facilities for UTM systems and Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations
- explore how cellular connectivity could facilitate UTM systems, dynamic no-fly zones and electronic detectability. (Source: UAS VISION)
27 Jan 20. Jetoptera Teams with Honeywell on Fluidic Propulsion System. Jetoptera, Inc. is collaborating with Honeywell Aerospace to bring fluidic propulsion to the defense market. The effort will leverage Jetoptera’s revolutionary fluidic propulsion system and Honeywell’s broad portfolio of proven turboshaft engines and auxiliary power units.
Fluidic Propulsive System (FPS) equipped aircraft enable runway independence, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) or short take-off and landing (STOL) modes of flight. Jetoptera has designed the only proven fluidic propulsion system based on reliable turboshaft technologies augmented by fluidics, to create thrust without rotor blades, propellers or turbo-fans.
The Fluidic Propulsive System is scalable. A source of compressed air is amplified by thrust augmentation. The resulting system is now capable of VTOL. The company’s unique approach to producing thrust for powerful, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)-capable aircraft is ideal for platforms with a Maximum Takeoff Weight ranging from as little as 200 lbs. to beyond 4000 lbs. Current designs enable FPS equipped aircraft to fly speeds from 60-400 knots indicated air speed. Fluidic propulsion will be ideally suited for emerging requirements from the Department of Defense projects and programs for Cargo, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting Aircraft.
Leveraging Honeywell’s APU engine technologies as an air source for the fluidic propulsion system gives a clear development path to rapidly meet the emerging needs of the Department of Defense.
“Our low-risk solution is fuel efficient, can utilize a variety of fuels such as JP-5, JP-8 or become fully electric, and is significantly quieter in forward flight operations,” said Todd Newton, Vice President of Business Development for Jetoptera. “The system is ideal for cargo UAS and unmanned aircraft in Group 3 and 4 in support of military requirements. Due to the ingenious design, the FPS also maintains a lower infrared signature because the thrusters output much cooler air than any other propulsion system, and because of the low emissivity of the materials used in the fabrication of the FPS thrusters.”
Jetoptera’s vision is to reimagine aircraft propulsion and enable aerial mobility for both cargo and people. The company has developed a unique propulsion system integrated with an airframe designed to maximize the FPS efficiency. The Fluidic Propulsive System is ideal for vertical and short takeoff and landing applications (VTOL/STOL). The technology is scalable from smaller unmanned to larger manned aircraft, from defense to commercial markets, and enables an unmatched combination of speed, range, payload, efficiency, quietness, and maneuverability.
The defense mission of Jetoptera is to enable faster, safer and less detectable aircraft to support the Warfighter, in collaboration with the DoD and aircraft manufacturers. These aircraft will navigate a new vector for aircraft missions because the company’s patented Fluidic Propulsive System is a key technology capability for emerging requirements in Cargo Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ISR&T Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and eventually for the family of aircraft systems in the Future Vertical Lift Programs. (Source: UAS VISION)
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.