Sponsored By Oxley Developments
21 Feb 20. Airbus, Surrey Uni partnership develops next-gen nano-barrier material. Airbus and the University of Surrey, England, have developed a robust multi-layer nano-barrier for ultra-lightweight and stable carbon fibre reinforced polymers. It could be used to build instruments for future space missions.
Airbus has been using carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRPs) on its spacecraft and instrument structures for many years.
Good examples are the two GRACE FO satellites that are tracking movement of liquid water, ice and land masses due to climate change, and BepiColombo, which will explore Mercury.
On those type of missions, CFRPs offer many advantages; in particular a high strength-to-weight ratio.
But applications are limited because the material absorbs moisture, often released as gas during a mission. This affects the dimensional stability and alignment of optical payload structures.
Engineers can try to minimise this problem by performing long, expensive procedures such as drying, recalibrations and bake-out – all of which may not completely resolve the issue.
Professor Ravi Silva, director of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, is confident that the newly developed reinforced composite is a “significant improvement over similar methods and materials already on the market”.
In the future, the coating could offer significant benefits in other areas of Airbus’ business too. For example, increase of wear resistance, barrier properties for many kinds of substances, protection from atomic oxygen erosion in low-Earth orbit, adjustments of thermo-optical properties and more.
“The new nano-barrier, together with our ultra-high-modulus CFRP manufacturing capability, will enable us to create the next generation of non-outgassing CFRP materials, with much more dimensional stability. Reaching this milestone gives us the confidence to look at instrument-scale manufacturing to fully prove the technology,” explained Christian Wilhelmi, head of mechanical subsystems and research and technology at Airbus in Friedrichshafen, said.
The new nano barrier could be used for upcoming Earth, navigation and science programs such as Copernicus Extension, Earth Explorer and Science Cosmic Vision.
Paolo Bianco, R&T co-operation manager at Airbus, added, “Years of co-operation with the University of Surrey, painstaking work and collaboration with customers like ESA and DLR have rewarded us with a leading-edge technology, with at least one order of magnitude better performance than any other existing solution.” (Source: Space Connect)
19 Feb 20. How the US Navy wants to fix its woefully antiquated computer systems. The Navy’s information technology is antiquated and unable to provide sailors, Marines and civilians with basic resources that any private sector employee with a computer can access, according to a report issued Wednesday by the sea service.
The 15-page report “Information Superiority Vision” offers a prescription for how the Navy can cure its IT and cyber security woes.
It also details how one of the world’s most advanced fighting forces fell so far behind other large enterprises, at least when it comes to technology.
Basic functions of modern networks are not currently available in the Navy systems, forcing many users to work around the system to get their jobs done, according to the report.
“Simple capabilities such as file sharing, cloud collaboration, chat, voice, and video are not available to users,” the report states. “Forward-deployed (sailors) and Marines must manually contextualize raw data from multiple unintegrated systems.”
Designed in the 1990s, the Navy’s “antiquated network structures” open lanes of vulnerability for adversaries who can get into the network through simple phishing attacks and then wreak havoc.
“As technology changes, our network no longer forms a linear battlespace simply defended by a Maginot line of firewalls,” the report warns.
The Navy and Marine Corps have also been stymied in recruiting, developing and retaining a modern day information workforce.
“Our checklist-based security culture, outdated information systems, and industrial age processes stifle innovative thinking and give a false sense of security,” the report states.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly wrote in the report’s introduction that everyone in his agency “must become a Cyber Sentry.”
Sailors, Marines and civilians often head out the door and into the IT private sector where they are better paid, work with more newer technology and hone their skills, the report warns.
To fix that, the Navy hired industry veteran Aaron Weis last fall as its chief information officer. Weis helms the sea service’s information management reform efforts.
He told Fifth Domain last month that he was shocked by the “day-to-day technology” provided to sailors and Marines to do their jobs.
“I would say on a broad basis, as compared to industry, what we provide to sailors and Marines and civilians is about 15 years behind where private industry is at,” Weis said.
The plan comes after troubling reports in recent years about the vulnerability of Navy networks to hacking and intrusion by foreign adversaries such as Russia and China.
Last March, an internal audit presented to Navy leaders and leaked to the Wall Street Journal revealed that the Navy and its industry partners face a “cyber siege” by hackers who have in past years stolen vital national security secrets after exploiting critical weaknesses.
“We are under siege,” the Journal quoted a senior Navy official as saying. “People think it’s much like a deathly virus — if we don’t do anything, we could die.”
This week’s release of the unclassified public plan — first reported by the Journal — doesn’t fully detail how the service is addressing deficiencies.
But a key reform involves embracing artificial intelligence to analyze and curate vast troves of data, freeing sailors and Marines from the repetitive drudgery of machine-oriented tasks.
As AI algorithms continue to learn and develop, the Navy’s future networks will change some aspects of fighting wars, moving “from humans identifying and classifying every target to approving target classifications…and finally to verifying automated classifications,” the report states.
“This automation increases the speed at which warfighters can absorb information, make decisions, and act.”
The report emphasizes that automation won’t remove a human from the loop when choosing to engage a target.
In the meantime, unclassified, classified and top secret networks must be revamped to exploit two decades of technological advancements, and everyone from a warship’s crew to Marines in battle will use flexible networks that can adapt to the available bandwidth in a contested environment, or no bandwidth at all, according to the report.
The Navy must avoid its “rich history of building duplicative information systems,” and everyone with a common access card, or CAC, should have a single user identity from “hire to retire,” the authors added.
Digital innovation centers will allow teams of nimble sailors and Marines to develop and share new solutions across multiple teams so that others don’t find themselves “’relearning’ the same lessons.”
Sailors, Marines and civilians also should expect regular red team testing of their cyber security knowledge.
“If we find vulnerabilities, we take corrective action, no different than grounding an aircraft or welding a ship to the pier,” the report states. “Security becomes a state of being and readiness.”
Those who show aptitude for IT will be fast-tracked and promoted, and everyone in the force will have IT tenets drilled into them at all levels of their career, the report states.
“Our future leaders need to come from within,” the report adds. “The future (Navy Chief Information Officer) is a junior Sailor, Marine, or civilian today.”
The report offers no timeline for reaching these goals but the authors acknowledge all modernization efforts will be paced by the resources provided to fuel them, with other government agencies and the defense industry enlisted to help.
And the process will constantly evolve to respond to new technologies that give adversaries an edge.
“Transformation for competitive advantage will never be ‘done,’” the report warns. https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.militarytimes.com/assets/pdfs/1582152030.pdf (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
20 Feb 20. Consortium demonstrates collision warning sensors for UAVs. Successful ‘ProSA-n’ study removes main obstacle to the deployment of large UAVs. As part of a study for the German procurement authority BAAINBw, the companies HENSOLDT and Diehl have developed the demonstrator of a sensor system for avoiding collisions between aircraft. At the same time, the partners, together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), have demonstrated in practice that such a sensor system consisting of a radar and a camera can reliably detect objects in the flight path of UAVs. The recognition of such situations is one of the essential requirements for deploying unmanned aerial vehicles in controlled airspace.
As part of the research project known as ‘Programme Sense-and-Avoid – national’ (ProSA-n), HENSOLDT has designed a so-called detect-and-avoid radar system and flight tested it onboard the DLR test aircraft Do-228 D-CODE in real scenarios (https://www.dlr.de/content/de/artikel/news/2019/03/20190930_sensoren-ersetzen-piloten.html). The radar reliably detected flying objects within a range of 220 degrees in front of the UAV at a distance of more than 10 kilometres by day and by night and in all weather conditions. Thanks to the precise measurement of the flight direction, collisions can be avoided at an early stage. Furthermore, the sensor also assumes all the functions of a weather radar system.
HENSOLDT’s detect-and-avoid radar uses state-of-the-art AESA technology (Active Electronically Scanned Array), which allows several detection tasks to be carried out at the same time and enables objects to be detected very fast. The components and technologies of this radar system are also used in other HENSOLDT products, such as the new PrecISR airborne surveillance radar and the SPEXER ground surveillance radar.
HENSOLDT is one of Europe’s leading radar manufacturers and operates one of Europe’s largest cleanroom production facilities at its Ulm site in order to produce the radio-frequency components required for AESA equipment. The company’s radar systems and radar components are used on board aircraft, satellites, ships and in ground stations. The platforms equipped with HENSOLDT devices include the Eurofighter combat aircraft, the TanDEM-X satellites, the US Navy’s littoral combat ships and the German Navy’s frigates. Furthermore, HENSOLDT supplies air traffic control (ATC) authorities and armed forces all over the world with ATC radar systems and transponders.
The electro-optical camera module demonstrator developed by Diehl Defence during the research project consists of a series of high-resolution cameras that scan the space directly in front of and to the sides of the aircraft. The flight tests that were carried out showed that the camera module with its advanced real-time signal processing is capable of detecting other aircraft reliably, tracking and evaluating them precisely as well as passing on information on collision candidates for subsequent processing. The camera module works at long distances and in bad light and can therefore replace the pilots’ eyes. Moreover, it can also contribute to improving the UAV pilots’ situational awareness by means of a detailed panoramic image. The module is light, compact and flexible enough to be adapted to the requirements of various aircraft.
Diehl’s electro-optical sensor systems have already proven their worth as they are used by the Navy to monitor their ships’ surroundings and detect immediate threats.
20 Feb 20. America Is Going All In On New Stealth Aircraft, But There Is A Problem. The munitions are not keeping pace with innovations. US Air Force researchers and bomb-makers are expressing concerns that the modernization of air-dropped weapons has been lagging-behind the many technical advances built into the larger platforms that drop them, such as the B-2, F-35 and the emerging B-21.
While advances in stealth technology, targeting, aerodynamics and computer avionics all continue to progress at alarming speeds, innovations when it comes to bomb configurations have not seen a commensurate technical acceleration, service leaders say.
“The bomb body, minus the guidance unit, is relatively unchanged. A 500-lb. bomb body was flown in 1918, and the F-35 is now dropping these. You can’t have an airplane and not have the same generation of munitions associated with it” Maj. Gen. Larry Stutzriem, USAF (Ret.) said at the Air Force Association Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
Naturally, seeker technology and advances with guidance systems and targeting are vastly different than they were years ago. Yet, the fundamental configurations, or bomb structures themselves, have been somewhat stagnant, service observers say.
Stutzriem, a former fighter pilot and current Director of Research for the Mitchell Institute, cited research now exploring precision bomb technology intended to pursue weapons technologies with more precision and “variable-yield effects”
Current areas of inquiry, according to the Mitchell Institute’s study, explain that, for decades, most bombs have operated with “fixed-explosive envelopes.” As a result, current developers are looking for innovative methods of achieving increased lethality with precision and variable yields—meaning bombs can be configured to tailor explosions depending on the target.
As co-author of the Mitchell Institute study, Stutzriem characterized the research as an effort to seek wider explosive ranges through a “combination of heat blast and fragmentation.”
Developing what Air Force engineers call “flight selectability” is essential to these developmental efforts, as it will enable dynamic combat-targeting to adapt while an aircraft is airborne. This can be done with a range of technologies to enable improved precision using multi-mode energetics and specialized structures engineered into the warhead itself, Col. Gary Haase, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), said at AFA.Advertisement
Also, developers are working on smart-fusing embedded in a weapon providing an explosive range from a wide-area effect to a lower collateral damage effect, Stutzriem and Haase said.
“The concept is to have selectable effects munitions capability in the cockpit,” Stutzriem explained.
These kinds of technical advances, wherein munitions can be adjusted in-flight, are inspiring new thinking when it comes to Concepts of Operations (CONOPS). Newer targeting and explosive yield variation naturally changes the types of attack missions falling within the realm of the possible. For instance, if a weapon could be configured for a larger or lower blast-effect in flight, an aircraft could attack more targets, have more options or make adjustments much more easily amid fast-changing combat situations. (Source: News Now/https://nationalinterest.org)
18 Feb 20. The GE Catalyst™, the GE Aviation turboprop designed and developed from scratch in Europe thanks to contributions from six countries and with wholly European technology, is ready to pass another important milestone in its development. In fact, the first flight of the turboprop designed to meet the needs of both the civil and the military markets with particular reference to unmanned aircraft (UAV), Trainers and Light Transport is scheduled for spring 2020.
Conceived with the extensive contribution of European engineers, the engine stands out in its reference class (1100 – 1300 hp) for its performance, systems and new components. Its European character plays an import role, in addition to benefiting from European independence and the technological growth of our industries, it offers another fundamental competitive advantage: independence from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The engine is not subject to US government export control and the military variant of the Catalyst will be subject only to European export control regulations.
“The Catalyst is a case study of a pan-European project with state of the art technology and performance ” said Paolo Salvetti, Sales Director Military Catalyst at Avio Aero. “The engine has exceeded the most optimistic expectations in terms of performance and reliability. And, with its first flight by spring, it is at an optimum stage of development. We are confident that it will be an excellent response to the increasingly challenging demands of both civilian and military users in a wide range of uses for many years to come.”
The Catalyst is the first engine in its category to have the FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) system that controls not only the engine but also the propeller. This allows for optimization of performance at all flight speeds with a reduction in fuel consumption of about 15-20% compared to the average. This is done through a single control point, giving the pilot an experience similar to that of a jet, where the pilot uses a single lever to control the thrust of the propulsion system. It is a feature of great importance for unmanned aircraft because FADEC greatly simplifies integration with the on-board avionics.
Other features new to the Catalyst class include the two, variable-geometry compression stages, and cooled, high-pressure turbine blades. These are elements that guarantee better performance, greater response to commands, and excellent reliability. The turboprop also incorporates parts developed in additive manufacturing at Avio Aero’s Italian plants. This technology reduces weight and increases performance in a sustainable manner. The engine also boasts: a compression ratio of 16:1, (the highest in its category), a guarantee of high thermal efficiency and higher performance with low consumption, along with 98 patented technologies, demonstrating its cutting-edge design in terms of innovation.
Given the upcoming first flight and a fast entry into service of the Catalyst, an important step is the integration with the German MT Propeller for military applications, which started last January 23rd by Avio Aero in its plant in Brindisi (Italy). Thanks to the special structure that combines wood, metal and composite materials, it allows a weight reduction between 8 and 20% and noise and vibrations reductions from 30 to 50% compared to other propellers on the market. The integration under development in Brindisi will significantly reduce the time and risk on future aircraft applications. It will offer future military users a pre-integrated propeller-engine solution already tested and optimized thanks to the contribution of the FADEC system.
Having accumulated over 1,300 hours of testing with over 850 starts, the Catalyst already has passed the altitude tests up to 41 thousand feet (12,496 m) in May 2019, completed the first certification test in October 2019 and will complete the entire certification process by autumn 2021.
In the tests, thanks to its technological features, the Catalyst has demonstrated excellent ability to provide more power and optimized performance at altitude. This is also possible thanks to a reduced front section architecture that allows a significant reduction in drag and therefore lower fuel consumption, a 10% increase in payload and more than 2 hours more in-flight time than a typical UAV mission.
18 Feb 20. U.S. Department of Defense Awards Funding for Study to Evaluate the Use of INTERCEPT Plasma in Traumatic Burn Resuscitation.
Collaboration with the National Trauma Institute. Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq: CERS) today announced a collaboration with the National Trauma Institute (NTI) to supply INTERCEPT plasma for use in the Plasma Resuscitation Without Lung Injury (PROpOLIs) clinical study. PROpOLIs is sponsored by NTI and funded by the United States Department of Defense Joint Program Committee 6 (JPC-6) Combat Casualty Care Research Program and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).
Burn injuries remain a significant health burden in civilian, first responder, and military settings. Despite major advances in care over the past 25 years, morbidity and mortality remain high, possibly exacerbated by current burn resuscitation strategies that employ large-volume crystalloid administration. Fluid overload early after burn injury constitutes a major risk factor for development of pneumonia, acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS), multiorgan failure, and death. The major objective of this study is to evaluate INTERCEPT plasma as a safe and effective resuscitation fluid in patients with major burns.
“The goal of this study is to improve the outcomes of patients being treated for major burns and to effect a volume-sparing intervention that reduces endothelial injury and consequent organ dysfunction,” says Obi Greenman, Cerus’ CEO. “We believe the successful outcome of this study could have implications for volume resuscitation across multiple indications in which crystalloid and colloid solutions have been used for early volume replacement.”
Research findings indicate that the endothelial injury (endotheliopathy) of burns (EoB) contributes to vascular leakage in patients with major burns. Endotheliopathy consists of damage to the cell layer lining blood vessels caused by burns, trauma, bleeding and infectious disease. This study assesses if EoB will be ameliorated by a change in burn resuscitation therapy from a crystalloid-based strategy to the incorporation of pathogen reduced plasma early after injury.
“This study could have meaningful clinical implications for the care of burn patients. Fluid replacement that also corrects the endotheliopathy of burns may provide valuable clinical benefit, including reduced morbidity, shorter ICU stay, decreased hospital costs and improved survival,” says Dr. Leopoldo Cancio, principal investigator for PROpOLIs and the Director of U.S. Army Burn Center, Fort Sam Houston.
The study design anticipates the enrollment of 94 patients randomized between an INTERCEPT plasma (test) arm and a crystalloid-based solution (control) arm, and will be conducted at 5 burn centers in the U.S., the U.S. Army Burn Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX; the University of Washington Regional Burn Center, Seattle, WA; the Ross Tilley Burn Centre-Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, CA; the Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC; and the Vanderbilt Burn Center, Nashville, TN. There are approximately 130 burn centers in the U.S. and an average of 200 hospital admissions per center per year (25,000 annual incidence of severe burn injuries).
The study is powered to assess the primary endpoint of a reduction in the 24-hour and 48-hour resuscitation volumes, and will also assess the reduction of the incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure and other resuscitation-related morbidities. Study initiation is expected in 2020.
“The evaluation of INTERCEPT plasma with reduced risk of transfusion-transmitted infection to treat severe burn injuries is another step in our evolving portfolio of novel therapeutic blood components focused on addressing unmet clinical needs to improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Laurence Corash, Cerus’ chief scientific officer and a co-investigator of PROpOLIs. “This study complements our strategy to leverage our foundational technology for other novel applications such as pathogen-reduced cryoprecipitate.”
Impact and Military Relevance:
Thermal injury has occurred in 10% of the casualties on the current battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq, reflecting the impact of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as an injury mechanism. Experience during the current wars has demonstrated a high prevalence of life-threatening complications secondary to over-resuscitation of burned combat casualties, such as abdominal compartment syndrome, extremity compartment syndrome, and ARDS. Resuscitation of burn casualties is labor- and supply-intensive under the best of circumstances, often requiring 20 or more liters of crystalloid solution during the first 24 hours postburn and necessitating hourly adjustments in fluid and medication infusion rates to ensure optimal outcomes. Strategies that minimize the amount of fluid required for resuscitation are anticipated to increase postburn survival in this high-risk population.
Cerus will supply the participating sites with the INTERCEPT plasma for the study. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
17 Feb 20. New software to modernise US Army’s biometric processing capabilities. A new software has been developed to allow the US Army to upgrade its 20-year-old biometric processing capabilities.
The improved biometrics tool has been developed by Army Futures Command’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center. Delivered to Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S), the new software will allow soldiers to identify persons at critical checkpoints abroad in real-time.
The handheld device is called Biometrics Automated Toolset-Army (BAT-A). It will help deployed soldiers in collecting, processing and referring biometric identity information during force protection screenings.
The device can accommodate biometric information, including the iris, fingerprint and facial images.
PEO IEW&S Project Manager Department of Defense (DoD) Biometrics product lead for the Biometrics Collection Capability Brian D Likens said: “We asked the C5ISR Center to make the database more efficient and useful for tomorrow’s soldier. To do this, they restructured the data to comply with future standards and modern architecture practices.”
Providing access to organised and screened information improves the functionality and efficiency of US soldiers.
This will be enabled by a new database software architecture that also improves the tool’s performance.
C5ISR Center software engineer Will Daddario said: “In the past, superfluous information had the ability to make its way up and into the BAT-A database. That will not happen anymore.
“Previously, all database relationships were performed by the application. Our new database has all of these relationships built-in, so when you make a change in one area, it propagates through the whole database.”
A data conversion tool with the architecture has already been delivered while data migration and filter tools will be handed over in the fiscal year 2021.
The C5ISR Center will continue to support the Next Generation Biometric Collection Capability development.
In March 2018, the US Army, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a biometric technology centre opened in West Virginia. (Source: army-technology.com)
18 Feb 20. Boomi’s data integration platform offers next-level connectivity to IFS’s customers with 200 pre-built connectors.
- IFS’s business applications for FSM, ERP and EAM can now connect large and fast-changing data pools using Boomi’s integration capabilities.
IFS, the global enterprise applications company, today announced its new partnership with Boomi™, a Dell Technologies™ business. The resulting technology stack combines best-in-class enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise asset management (EAM) and field service management (FSM) into a ‘digital switchboard’ that unites industrial process expertise with cloud agility.
Over the last three decades, the 4,000-strong IFS team has built specialist enterprise applications spanning manufacturing, aerospace & defence, engineering, construction & infrastructure, energy & utilities, and service management. As these core industries now digitise their processes they need to connect silos of information, increasingly held in the cloud. This requires increasingly agile ways to connect, disconnect and reconnect large and fast-changing pools of data. Boomi was conceived to solve just these issues.
“By adopting ‘switchboard thinking’, where all business-critical applications are connected by one central point, organisations can speed up supply chains, improve service responses and compete globally like never before,” said Sakari Jorma, Senior Vice President of IFS. “Businesses across all industries – from aerospace and defence to power generation – will be able to connect their best-of-breed systems to their IFS core through Boomi’s unified, cloud-native platform. The partnership reaffirms IFS’s commitment to offering customers choice and freedom to leverage their existing digital property to achieve faster time to value.”
This new partnership means IFS customers can now access a ‘digital switchboard’ integrating the deep functionality of IFS Applications with the dozens of others required to run HR, Finance and other functions of their choice today. Boomi brings over 200 pre-built connectors configured easily via an ultra-modern real-time drag-and-drop interface. IFS customers can build integrations faster, typically reducing the time spent on development by weeks or months, an unheard-of step-change for many legacy industries.
Commenting on the benefits of the partnership, Derek Thompson, Vice President of EMEA at Boomi, commented, “The strength of this partnership is in the different expertise IFS and Boomi bring. The loyal customer base of IFS deserves the most intelligent, scalable and flexible platform and Boomi is honoured to be chosen as the foundation for the ERP solution of the future.”
IFS Chief Product Officer, Christian Pedersen, concluded, “As one component in our customers’ ecosystem of solutions, technologies, and data, we fully understand the need to offer complete openness and freedom of choice. By partnering with Boomi, we are taking the next logical step to empower businesses with out-of-the-box connectivity to the digital switchboard from our already open and natively API-enabled platform.”
Learn more at www.ifs.com/uk/solutions/boomi/.
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.