Sponsored By Oxley Developments
23 Jul 20. The Department of Defense wants better batteries. The Department of Defense wants better batteries for its war fighters, and it’s partnering with NanoGraf to develop them.
“Just like we civilians are increasingly relying on cell phones and tablets and everything else, the modern soldier is also transitioning towards these really power heavy devices in the field, [like] night vision goggles, weapon optics, all of the communications devices, GPS,” said Chip Breitenkamp, NanoGraf vice president of business development. “All of those things require more and more power.
“If you take a look at what the soldier has to bring on the field already, between guns, ammunition, water, food, right now the best estimate that I’ve seen […] is that every soldier for ever mission goes out with somewhere between 15 and 25 pounds of batteries just to power all of this stuff,” he continued.
NanoGraf wants to build energy dense batteries that reduce that weight while allowing war fighters to operate longer without replacing or recharging their batteries. The company recently announced that DoD had awarded the company a $1.65m Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop silicon anode-based lithion-ion portable batteries to replace the graphite anode lithium-ion batteries currently used by the military. The goal is to develop batteries with a 50-100 percent increase in runtime.
“The technology that we have can be applied to any lithium-ion battery, and what it does is it basically gives the soldier more energy, longer runtime, less weight,” said Breitenkamp. He added that better batteries could enable emerging technologies like small drones and augmented reality devices.
He noted that the company can currently get about 30 percent more energy density out of their batteries, and their technology is about 12 months away from being available commercially. Under their contract, NanoGraf will be working directly with the U.S. Army over the next two years to improve their technology and prepare to begin manufacturing batteries for use by soldiers. (Source: Defense News)
23 Jul 20. GKN Aerospace receives keys to Global Technology Centre in Bristol.
- GKN Aerospace hits milestone by taking ownership of 110,000 sq. ft state of the art technology facility
- Wing of Tomorrow tools already in place to start work on next-generation technology for more sustainable aircraft
- 300 engineers to be on site when at full capacity in H2 2021
GKN Aerospace has taken ownership of its new Global Technology Centre (GTC) in Bristol after the keys were officially handed over by developers St Francis Group. The new GTC – funded by a £17m commitment from GKN Aerospace and £15m commitment from the UK Government, through the Aerospace Technology Institute – will be fully kitted out over the next year and will open in HY2 2021.
The new GTC will be GKN Aerospace’s UK technology hub and represents a major commitment to developing the sustainable aerospace technology of the future. The centre will focus on additive manufacturing (AM), advanced composites, assembly and industry 4.0 processes to enable the high rate production of aircraft structures.
The GTC will maintain GKN Aerospace’s position at the forefront of technology development for the next generation of energy efficient aircraft.
President of GKN Aerospace’s Civil Airframe business, John Pritchard, said: “This is a real milestone, we are proud to have taken the next step in the UK GTC development with this hand over and we look forward to completing the building and making it a great place to work. We have dozens of committed industry partners already set to join us at the centre as together we shape a more sustainable future of flight.”
The UK GTC was first announced in December 2018 alongside the UK government’s Aerospace Sector Deal. GKN Aerospace has now secured more than 25 collaboration partners for the new Centre, which will house 300 engineers when at full capacity.
21 Jul 20. Team Wendy® Releases EXFIL® Adapter For AMP™ Communication Headset. Cleveland-based Team Wendy®, a leading provider of exceptional head protection systems, announced today the launch of its EXFIL® Adapter for the Ops-Core AMP™ Communication Headset. This headset, originally designed for Ops-Core’s ARC Rail, can now be also be mounted on Team Wendy helmets.
The EXFIL® Adapter for the Ops-Core AMP™ Communication Headset easily attaches each arm of the AMP headset to Team Wendy’s EXFIL® Rail 2.0 or EXFIL® Rail 3.0 accessory mounting systems; shown here installed on Team Wendy’s EXFIL® Ballistic SL helmet.
The adapter easily attaches each arm of the AMP headset to Team Wendy’s EXFIL Rail 2.0 or EXFIL Rail 3.0 accessory mounting systems. A press fit design – rather than a hard mount – ensures breakaway functionality when enough pressure is applied in an emergency situation.
“The breakaway capability is important for airborne operations,” said Mike Romanchek, director of sales and business development for Team Wendy. “The EXFIL Adapter reduces risk should lines get tangled around the headset by detaching from the helmet thus reducing the chances of equipment malfunction or injury.”
The EXFIL Adapter for the Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset retails for $21.99 and is available for purchase on TeamWendy.com and through authorized Team Wendy dealers.
ABOUT TEAM WENDY®
Team Wendy is a family-owned company dedicated to providing exceptional head protection systems designed from the inside out for those who risk their lives every day. Founded in 1997, our Cleveland-based company places a strong focus on the prevention of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in honor of the company’s namesake Wendy Moore, who died tragically from a TBI following a ski accident.
As a leading supplier of helmet systems for military, law enforcement, search and rescue, and adventure sports, Team Wendy is steadfast in our dedication to the pursuit of improving head protection research, design and development, bringing more choice, better technology and reliable customer service to the industry.
Team Wendy was recognized as a winner of the Cleveland Top Workplaces 2019 award by The Plain Dealer and was also named one of NorthCoast 99’s Best Places to Work in Northeast Ohio in 2016. (Source: PR Newswire)
22 Jul 20. GKN Aerospace Sweden joins feasibility studies of the future fighter jet engine.
- GKN Aerospace in Sweden participates in feasibility studies together with partner industries in Italy and the UK on future fighter engine technology development
- This follows the UK-Swedish 2019 MoU exploring the joint development of next generation of fighter jet capabilities and systems
- Defence key growth market for GKN Aerospace
Today, at FIA Connect, GKN Aerospace announced its participation in feasibility studies on technology development for the future combat air system and next generation of fighter jet engines with partner industries in Italy and the UK. GKN Aerospace and Saab are the two companies in Sweden that are part of the cooperation.
Air combat capabilities are designated by Sweden as a national security interest. Through a joint technology development, the Swedish aviation industry will be able to build and sustain their continuous development of competencies and capabilities in a cost-effective way. GKN Aerospace was contracted in Q1 2020 by FMV to conduct a study on collaboration with Rolls Royce on technology development of the future fighter engine.
Future fighter jets will impose completely new demands on the engine. It will not only have to meet increased propulsion needs, but also supply increasingly demanding sensors and weapons with more power output and cooling needs. Therefore, a substantial technological leap will be needed compared to today’s fighter engines.
Joakim Andersson, President of engines systems at GKN Aerospace said:
“We are proud to be a part of this exciting collaboration. It seamlessly fits our ambition to develop our market position in engine systems and enables us to benefit from synergies between our civil and military aircraft engine technologies. We have many years of experience in international cooperation and we are convinced that this is the right way to go. Developing such a complex system as a new fighter jet engine is a major challenge that will require a lot of resources over a long period of time. The cooperation shall take advantage of the best skills from each company while strengthening the ability of companies to support their respective countries’ Air Forces.’’
GKN Aerospace Sweden has a long history of developing technology and engines and of ensuring safety, availability and cost-effectiveness for Sweden’s defense. The company holds the type certificate for the RM12 engine in JAS 39 Gripen C/D and has recently been selected as the supplier for product support also for the RM16 engine in JAS 39 Gripen E.
20 Jul 20. SAIC Adds New Innovation Factory Hub in Huntsville, Alabama. Company’s expansion in Huntsville accelerates modernization initiatives for SAIC’s Department of Defense and federal government agency customers.
Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) announced today plans to add a new Innovation Factory Hub in Huntsville, Alabama, the company’s second largest single location, expanding its presence and support to local customers. This marks the latest expansion of SAIC’s Innovation Factory network where the Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal government agencies can evaluate new technologies and accelerate delivery of new and modernized systems.
SAIC’s Innovation Factory is a nationwide network of physical and virtual environments using a highly automated, cloud-hosted toolset; agile practices; and DevSecOps production chains to rapidly build, test, and deploy first iterations of solutions quickly and then enhance them quickly through close customer collaboration. Innovation Factory hubs connect SAIC’s innovators and toolsets, startups/tech companies, and the customer.
The Huntsville Innovation Factory Hub will be seamlessly integrated into SAIC’s existing Innovation Factory network and showcase uniquely-focused technologies enabling end-to-end analysis, experimentation and engineering focused on digital engineering with modeling and simulation and rapid prototyping capabilities.
“As we have witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the requirement for true digital transformation has never been greater. This expansion to SAIC’s longstanding presence in Huntsville with a new Innovation Factory Hub allows us to support emerging needs, while also leveraging our solutions and company-wide expertise – developed over four decades supporting local customers,” said Jim Scanlon, SAIC executive vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems Group. “With all sectors rapidly implementing technology to meet and conduct business virtually, our new Innovation Factory Hub will enable our Huntsville-area customers to accelerate solutions to meet their mission requirements.”
With more than 2,800 employees, Huntsville represents SAIC’s largest single location outside of its Reston headquarters and the National Capital Region. SAIC employees and leaders in Huntsville can leverage cloud-based technologies within the Innovation Factory immediately, while facility renovations are underway. In addition to supporting local customers, the Huntsville Innovation Factory Hub will advance innovation for the entire community and be able – on Day 1 – to integrate solutions from SAIC’s local small and large business partners.
“The Huntsville Innovation Factory Hub is focused on driving Defense modernization initiatives while addressing the technical challenges associated with DOD multi-domain operations and force modernization initiatives,” said SAIC Chief Technology Officer Charles Onstott. “Our researchers and engineers will leverage digital engineering and agile software development to enable the DOD to rapidly explore and implement innovative technologies, such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and modeling and simulation, focused on improving mission outcomes.”
The Huntsville Innovation Factory Hub will open in a phased approach. Phase 1 is an immediate fielding of Innovation Factory cloud-based process and tools focused on app and IT modernization, and teams will use existing conference spaces until hub spaces are ready. Follow-on phases will leverage “workplace of the future” renovations in SAIC’s Odyssey Drive facility, and incorporate digital engineering, data analytics and modeling and simulation cloud-based tools. Completion of hub spaces is targeted for Spring 2021.
The Innovation Factory relies on robust ecosystems of advanced technology partner companies, including startups and commercial partners, and federal government customers seeking new technologies.
Once completed, SAIC’s Huntsville Innovation Factory Hub will operate alongside SAIC’s Innovation Factories located in Reston, Virginia; Lowell, Massachusetts at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) Research Institute; Los Angeles, California; and the Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
10 Jul 20. Combining simulation, visualisation and the human element to deliver next-gen defence capability. UNSW has responded to a growing need within defence industry to leverage the growing capabilities of computer simulation, visualisation and immersive design to deliver an end-user focused capability for defence.
It may seem like an eclectic combination of professionals, ranging from nurses, clinical analysts, engineers and computer coders responding to a design challenge on a multi-billion warship, but the UNSW Master of Visualisation, Simulation and Immersive Design (MVSID) empowers professionals to learn from one another and deliver peerless outcomes to complex problems.
The Masters program offers a unique human-centric, design-led approach focusing on human perception and experience.
The course is designed to engage professionals from a breadth of experience and fields, empowering them to understand how, why, when and where to effectively utilise simulation and immersive platforms including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR).
Further information on the course, including the applying for the latest intake, closing July 31st for Term 3 and close November 30 2020 for the 2021 intake is available here.
Dr Teresa Crea, Simulation Researcher and Development Lead for the MVSID course explained the importance of this focus in the Defence context, saying “The human-centric component is critical to the process, as it helps inform the way in which the humans will use the end-use product, the user experience is critical and how you design to the end goal. It is a concerning gap in the current technical focus.”
The program caters to the demands of professionals from diverse industry sectors. It can be studied full-time or part-time and is delivered via a range of flexible modalities incorporating online, face-to-face classes and creative studios. There are also opportunities to top up on skills via allied short courses and a graduate certificate.
Accounting for the high degree of professionals eager to sharpen their skills or broaden their academic credentials is a core target demographic for the course – accordingly, the low-residency program has been designed to accommodate busy professionals.
While the core courses are conducted online, two to three intensive face-to-face meetups per term on campus or at our industry partner facilities are available for the human element.
Most meetups will take place on the weekend to maximise flexibility – while students will also have full access to all campus facilities throughout each term.
To support the elective courses, students will be able to select from a range of fully online courses and on-campus face-to-face courses with weekly classes.
Dr Crea added, “The program came from a series of conversations with end users and operators in defence who stressed the importance of maximising and improving the prioritisation of the ‘end user’.
“The program is transdisciplinary which enables students to look at how fields and industries outside of defence utilise leverage visualisation, simulation and design – it enables a high degree of cross pollination.
“I am already seeing in the first cohort of working professionals from a range of fields, including experienced programmers through to clinical simulation skills, enables them to engage in a range of conversations and learn from a range of fields and lessons and experiences,” Dr Crea said.
Further information on the course, including the applying for the latest intake, closing July 31st for Term 3 and close November 30 2020 for the 2021 intake is available here.
As a target for experience professionals, the MVSID course also accounts for recognition of prior learning, which may be granted for formal, non-formal and workplace learning for specified credit in accordance with UNSW recognition of prior learning procedures for elective courses within the program.
“The recognition of prior learning, whether on the job practical experience or adhoc education allows access so students can receive a more structured, formal educational reinforcement for skills and lessons they may otherwise learn on the job and helps give graduates the opportunity to build the skills and knowledge basis to build on and enhance their practical skills,” Dr Crea explained.
The UNSW Faculty of Art & Design has been working with program partner Asia Pacific Simulation Alliance (APSA) and prime industry collaborators including CAE; Toll ACE Training Centre; Bohemia Interactive Simulation to ensure the qualifications and program experience are relevant to industry professionals. (Source: Defence Connect)
20 Jul 20. DSEI Defence Leaders Panel: balancing conventional force with emerging tech. During the DSEI Defence Leaders Panel discussion on science and technology, defence leaders from Dstl, NATO and Fujitsu discussed the importance of finding a balance between ‘conventional forces’ and emerging science and technology like artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
Answering a question from Army Technology, Defence Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl) Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead, NATO Chief Scientist Dr Bryan Wells, and Fujitsu Programme Director Artificial Intelligence Dr David Snelling discussed the role of emerging technologies alongside existing systems and how the two can support each other.
Snelling said that the combination of emerging S&T and existing technology is ‘critical’. Adding that as tools like Artificial Intelligence becomes more prevalent, using them to solve simple existing challenges like processing large amounts of data will be the most pressing concern.
“The first thing is the combination is critical. And that will become more and more true as we do simple, simple things like applying artificial intelligence really needs to solve the data problem first. And so these things do have to be pulled together,” Snelling told the panel.
Snelling explained that in today’s apparent crossroads between conventional and emerging technology, we should be looking at how our existing systems could be used to better understand the technology that is being developed and is coming in the pipeline.
Aitkenhead added that the line between the two was not ‘black and white, old and new’ and that conventional capabilities are still seeing significant investment from the UK Armed Forces.
“We are in investing in military platforms that will be with us for the next 30 to 40 years, they have extremely advanced technology on them already today and they’ll continue to evolve and be upgraded with, again a mixture of conventional and new technologies.” Aitkenhead said, adding that he agreed ‘completely’ with the idea of a hybrid approach to the two.
Aitkenhead added that it was important to harness a mix of current off-the-shelf capabilities with developments coming ‘down the line’.
Commenting on data and achieving real ‘information advantage’ Aitkenhead added new technologies were not necessarily the answer, but rather the ‘application and integration of things we already know how to do’ was key.
Aitkenhead said: “There’s much that can be done and real, actual, significant breakthroughs that can come from the application and good execution around existing technologies. And then looking for where what I think new technologies enable you to make kind of a real step change or leapfrog or create something completely different than what you have today. In between, there’s pulling through those new technologies and combining them with the existing technology.
“So it’s much more blurred around the edges and much more, again, ‘complex’ – that word again – to figure out how to apply a combination of what we hope to do today and what may be just maturing and coming down the pipeline.”
The NATO perspective
Wells said that for NATO finding the correct balance between conventional forces and emerging science and technology was similar to finding the balance between the capabilities and force mix of member states.
Wells explained: “We are an alliance of 30 nations with diverse military capabilities. In Alliance operations, we are likely to have non-allied partners as well. The ability of different nations to come together with differing military capabilities, but still perform the same Alliance operation is absolutely vital for us. We do spend a lot of our time thinking about interoperability and standardisation.
“NATO has a very long history of working with the nations to produce standards to allow the allies and their partners to interoperate with each other.”
The NATO Science and Technology Office Wells said played an important role in this along with the nations themselves cooperating on the low technological readiness levels (TRL).
“If the nations cooperate at the low TRL levels under the NATO science and technology banner, then we can work at the very earliest stages to make sure we can be interoperable with the technologies that we are developing to make sure that the nations are comfortable with the way that they can interoperate with each Right down at the basic, low TRL level.
“So that as the technology matures and develops into fieldable capabilities, we’re already on the case in terms of interoperating,” Wells said. (Source: army-technology.com)
16 Jul 20. Leonardo continues to embrace partnerships to deliver exciting new technologies and capabilities. The unexpected Covid-19 pandemic has confirmed the strategic importance of aerospace, defence, and security to the stability and security of every country. While safeguarding the health of the company’s people, maintaining production, and ensuring business continuity, Leonardo has responsibly responded to the need for border protection, emergency assistance, secure communication, and greater digitalisation supporting customers and governments worldwide in the spirit of collaboration and partnerships. Innovation is key to national economic prosperity and security for communities, including international and joint efforts.
Team Tempest is one example of industry and governments coming together to develop crucial innovative capabilities, in this case, combat air systems. Leonardo in the UK is one of the four founding members of Team Tempest—alongside BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, and MBDA UK—which was brought together by the UK Ministry of Defence to develop a next-generation combat air system for the UK and partner nations. Since the team was contracted to begin development work in 2018, Italy and Sweden have announced their intent to work with the UK on this project, reinforcing an even stronger commitment from Leonardo through its Italian industrial capabilities.
Leonardo’s on-going work as part of the team is to develop Tempest’s integrated sensing function, affecting function and communications. One component of this development, and the focus of a recent lab demonstration, is radar warning. This technology is used to sense the radio frequency (RF) signals emitted by potentially hostile radars and then use this information for a variety of purposes, including warning an operator that an enemy is trying to “lock on” to their aircraft.
Such sensor technologies can also support tasks such as intelligence gathering and combat identification. In the future, threat radars are likely to use a range of technologies and software techniques to make it harder to identify their signals. This means that Tempest’s sensors will need to be sophisticated enough to be able to counter such techniques and flexible enough to be updated in response to new technologies as they emerge on the battlefield.
The Eurofighter Typhoon programme also highlights the strengths in industrial partnerships, including between the UK and Italy, which have also jointly benefitted from experience with Tornado and will now work together again on Tempest.
Leonardo’s involvement in Typhoon has been central and extensive over decades, spanning from airframe to sensors and systems. As for a few examples, Leonardo leads a consortium that draws on the best of European engineering expertise to deliver radar, thermal technology, and digital capabilities. The EuroRADAR consortium brings together Leonardo, Hensoldt, and Indra to provide the Captor-E radar. The EuroDASS consortium sees Leonardo, Elettronica, Indra, and Hensoldt working in partnership to deliver the Praetorian DASS. Meanwhile, EuroFIRST, which provides the PIRATE IRST, is a consortium that includes Leonardo, Thales, and Tecnobit.
Kuwait is the latest country to join the elite club of Eurofighter Typhoon operators, having ordered a fleet of 28 aircraft, making the Kuwait Air Force one of the best-equipped internationally. Kuwait will be the first nation to receive Typhoon equipped with its new “Captor-E” E-scan radar system.
Due to Typhoon’s large radome and its increased cooling and electrical-power capacity, the platform can accommodate a radar array that is larger and more powerful than those on other combat aircraft and a repositioner, providing it with a game-changing wide field of regard. This enables the targeting of opponents at the longest-possible range and the widest angle, offering a significant combat edge.
Some aircraft rely on an airframe design to make it hard for radars to see. However, threats are continuously evolving, and an airframe is a difficult part of the aircraft to update. That is why Typhoon’s “Praetorian” defensive aids sub-system employs a range of electronic countermeasures that allow the aircraft to digitally hide its signature, or to generate radar noise to confuse enemy radar operators. These countermeasures, which together provide the platform with “digital stealth,” can be effectively adapted as threats change, keeping the Typhoon well protected into the future.
As well as radar, the Eurofighter Typhoon carries the PIRATE Infra-red Search and Track (IRST) system, which can target and track opposing aircraft via their heat signatures. The key benefit of this high-tech sensor is its passive nature, which means it does not emit energy—which is useful when the Typhoon needs to remain extra covert. Following years of software enhancements, the PIRATE IRST is one of the most reliable and accurate thermal sensors on any combat aircraft.
In the air defence domain, within the area of training, working closely with operational partners is crucial in the development of pilots’ skills and increased safety practices as they are intended to move to latest-generation platforms. The Leonardo-Italian Air Force International Flight Training School (IFTS) Agreement was inspired by the common decision of these two preeminent national entities to foster synergies to the benefit of the country: combining the capabilities of the largest Italian industrial player in the aerospace, defence, and security sectors with the Air Force’s expertise in the military flight-training domain.
The M-346 is also showing its full potential as a true and cost-effective multirole aircraft beyond advanced training, with the ongoing development of the M-346FA (Fighter Attack), which is undergoing testing activities also involving, among other factors, the integration of the Grifo radar of Leonardo.
In the rotorcraft sector, Leonardo is proud to support militaries and defence forces worldwide with their missions. Recently, Leonardo delivered the first of two AW169 basic-training twin-engine helicopters to the Italian Army. The second aircraft is expected to be handed over in the next few months.
By working closely with the customer and understanding its goals and vision for its fleet, the introduction of the new-generation training helicopter (designated UH-169B) will allow the Italian Army to prepare its crews for the operational transition to its all-new advanced multirole Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) programme developed on the AW169 dual-use baseline, which is aimed at a longer-term fleet modernisation and rationalisation plan.
The two AW169 trainers will enable the Italian Army to become familiar with the platform’s basic characteristics during the development of the new LUH. The LUH programme is aimed at progressively replacing ageing models, including the A109, AB206, AB205, AB212, and AB412 to meet the evolving operational requirements, and benefits from a more efficient supply chain based on a single-platform approach. This also ensures greater logistics efficiency and interoperability for homeland security and emergency response operations as the AW169 fleets of government operators grow further in Italy.
In May 2020, despite the COVID-19 situation, Leonardo and Thales were able to support the UK Ministry of Defence with the first successful firings of the Thales “Martlet” Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) from Leonardo’s AW159 Wildcat helicopter.
The firings were conducted as part of the UK MoD’s Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (FASGW) programme and demonstrated the integration of the Martlet onto the AW159 platform. This represents a major milestone for the programme and will enable this high-end capability to enter service with the Royal Navy later this year.
Leonardo is ready to support evolving requirements in the UK for rotary-wing capabilities, with the AW149 new-generation medium twin-engine multirole helicopter as an ideal solution proposed in the framework of future modernisation programmes. (Source: Google)
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.