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30 Jul 20. W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore) today announced the company’s involvement in the Mars 2020 Mission scheduled for launch on July 30 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This U.S. mission addresses high-priority scientific goals for exploration to help answer the questions of potential life on Mars.

Unique Materials Technology

Gore’s wire & cable products are critical components to the success of data processing and communications between the Perseverance Rover and the descent stage of the mission. They assist with the precise landing operation to the Martian surface until the Sky Crane enabling this operation departs. The intense entry, descent and landing (EDL) phase begins when the spacecraft reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere, travelling at about 12,100 mph (19,500 kph). EDL ends about seven minutes later with the rover stationary on the Martian surface. The EDL will be very similar to the illustration shown for Curiosity rover in 2012 which also featured Gore’s wire & cable products. Gore’s reliable products were selected for the mission because of their durable constructions that have been proven and trusted over time to withstand the harshest environments encountered in space. The same cables are also used on the actual rover, which is about the size of a car, but at 2,260 pounds (1,025 kilograms) it weighs significantly less. The mission addresses high-priority science goals for Mars exploration and is expected to be at least one Mars year (about 687 Earth days).

Program Heritage

“For decades, Gore has provided reliable solutions in hundreds of global spaceflight programs with a 100% failure-free flight record,” said Jeff Fyfe, Gore’s space global business leader. “We work closely with NASA and ESA to meet the most demanding mission specifications.” The company manufactures its space-related products in an ESA-qualified and ISO 9001:2000-certified facility.

GORE® Space Cables have been used in many missions over the decades — including the iconic Apollo 11 mission to the moon as well as the International Space Station, Envisat, Space Shuttle Program, Sentinel, Hubble Space Telescope and more.

30 Jul 20. Urban Operations: Technology Trends. Urban operations are not just another part in the spectrum of warfare. It is found in every part of it, ranging from high-intensity to low-intensity warfare. As such, there are plenty of historical examples such as those from Stalingrad, Aachen, Hue city and Fallujah, to Grozny, Panama City and the effort to clear Iraqi urban areas from ISIS combatants. Warfare in an urban environment is still important for military planners and will be of extreme importance due to the increasing urbanisation and the potential of a near-peer confrontation between major powers, in densely populated areas of the world.

Listed below are the key technology trends impacting the urban operations theme, as identified by GlobalData.

Multi-mission platforms

In the confined spaces of an urban environment military forces need platforms that will be able to provide additional capabilities in order to maintain tempo and the initiative against the enemy. The industry is showcasing products that address urban operation needs. For example, MBTs and armoured vehicles, which have been upgraded with additional armour protection, an RWS (Remote Weapon Stations), active-protection systems, cameras that provide the crew with 360 degrees situational awareness, hybrid electric energy management systems and engineering systems such as earth movers to reduce the need for mission specific engineering vehicles.


As threats are evolving, modularity can provide the necessary “ground” for the integration of additional capabilities that would be able to be supported by the architecture. For example, a modular vehicle architecture will allow the user to modify it according to the mission requirements. If it will operate in a low-threat environment, it could feature a lighter armour and weapons, making it less intimidating to the population. In case of high-threats, it can be equipped with additional ones, thus reducing the need and the cost for mission-specific platforms.

Joint effects

Considering the government spending shift that followed the end of the Cold War towards social welfare, COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) systems, components or even platforms are increasingly offered to make the acquisition of systems affordable and shorter.

Digital soldier systems

The complexity of the urban environment is such that no single military service or arm can tackle the threats and the requirements of safeguarding a city by itself. Jointness on a higher level and combined arms approaches is the way to success. Coordinating all these stakeholders requires the necessary C2 equipment that will improve the exchange of information and the decision-making process.

Unmanned systems

Digitisation is increasingly finding its way into every system and platform. The nature of the urban environment puts soldiers and small units (squads, platoons) in the epicentre of the battle, thereby increasing the need for situational awareness. Digital soldier systems provide such capabilities. Their cost has impeded their wider use by armies. However, parts of those programs are being implemented in an effort to introduce such technologies incrementally.

Collateral damage reduction in urban operations

The obstacles of the urban terrain reduce observation and make communication harder. Unmanned systems (ground, maritime, aerial) will provide the necessary persistence in ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) missions and communications relay, at a fragment of the cost of their manned counterparts. Unmanned systems can also expand the capabilities of platforms, further enhancing the versatility characteristic at an affordable price.

This is an edited extract from the Urban Defense Operations (Urban Warfare) – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research. (Source: army-technology.com)

29 Jul 20. Pentagon issues contract guidance on China tech ban. The Pentagon has released guidance on how acquisition executives should implement the upcoming ban on contracting with companies that use telecommunications equipment made by Huawei and other China-based companies.

In a 15-page memo signed July 23, the Defense Department outlines what companies and contracting officers have to do once the government’s ban goes into effect.

Starting Aug. 13, the government won’t be allowed to issue or extend contracts with companies that use certain video and telesurveillance technologies, services and equipment made by certain Chinese manufacturers, such as ZTE or Hikvision.

Contracts, task and delivery orders, including those for commercial-off-the-shelf items and delivery orders, issued after Aug. 13 must also include specified language invoking regulation for the ban. Existing indefinite delivery contracts will have to be modified, the memo states.

The implementation guidance also walks through the waiver process, which can last through Aug. 13, 2022, and how emergency procurements like for a natural disaster can use them.

Waiver requests will not only have to go through the executive agency head but the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Federal Acquisition Security Council. After its granted, Congress has to be notified within 30 days, according to the memo.

The ban largely targets telecommunications equipment that routes, redirects user data traffic and can expose user data or data packets.

The guidance comes after senior DOD officials and defense companies have expressed concerns of the deadline being too onerous.

An interim rule on what’s become known as the Huawei ban, which stems from section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, was published July 14. The first section of the ban — halting the government’s buying and use of equipment and services proscribed by the statute — took effect Aug. 13, 2019. (Source: Defense Systems)

29 Jul 20. Mannarino Systems & Software Inc has launched the M-RTOS real-time operating system for aerospace and defence applications at FIA Connect. The company, based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada has designed the software with aerospace certification in mind. M-RTOS is a modular, flexible and affordable operating system for a wide range of aerospace applications from Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) electronic hardware to federated LRU (LineReplaceable Unit) aircraft systems to IMA (Integrated Modular Avionics) platforms.

RTOS systems serve as the interface between the hardware/microprocessor and the application software that controls associated aircraft functionality within aerospace electronics. The M-RTOS operating system was developed to minimise memory and timing usage. It guarantees robust spatial and temporal partitioning and can run on microprocessors incorporating memory protection. The system was designed to outperform the competition on all key benchmarks. Its “clean-sheet” design eliminated the need to support legacy interfaces, code or configuration files.

System specifically supports requirements of modern aircraft

Mannarino developed the new M-RTOS system to provide a solution for what they felt was the lack of an operating system which could specifically support the unique requirements of modern aircraft. These can feature hundreds of individual computers and systems with their own requirements. M-RTOS is fully compliant with the industry standard for operating systems, ARINC-653. It is RTCA/DO-178C certifiable to any Design Assurance Level (DAL).

The first customer for the M-RTOS system is MicroPilot Inc. of Stony Mountain, Manitoba, Canada. MicroPilot will employ M-RTOS for its range of certified autopilot systems, which are primarily designed for remotely-piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).

Features can be tailored for software and budget constraints

Nicolas Ulysse, Chief Software Engineer at Mannarino said:“M-RTOS was crafted by aerospace engineers for aerospace application developers. Integrated with M-RTOS, the Mannarino Workbench is an innovative development environment that simplifies teamwork and collaboration and maximises efficiency.”

M-RTOS is also based on an affordable pricing structure. The pricing is based on microprocessor rather than end-use product, which allows customers to optimise technology choices across their product portfolio. Features and DAL can be tailored for individual software and technical requirements and budget constraints. Flexible commercial terms, simplified licensing and a subscription-based approach facilitate the purchase.

Cost savings can be up to 70 per cent

Company President John Mannarino, said: “Memory and timing improvements of more than 50 per cent relative to market leaders enable users to build larger and more powerful applications. In addition, M-RTOS offers significant savings in the cost of ownership – at least 50 to 70 per cent depending on the required DAL.”

Montreal-based Mannarino has two decades of internationally recognided expertise in aerospace engineering including the development, verification and validation of safety-critical systems,

certifiable software and electronic hardware. It is also an accredited Canadian DAO (Design Approval Organization). With the introduction of M-RTOS, the company is the only COTS RTOS supplier with certification delegation.

23 Jul 20. Bren-Tronics Delivers New Batteries to U.S. Army. Bren-Tronics, Inc. has recently delivered the first 2-B (highest capacity) fully MIL-PRF-32565B Compliant 6T battery to the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Ground Vehicle System Center (GVSC). The Bren-Tronics compliant batteries, both 2-A and 2-B (capacity options), are the result of years of development and lessons learned from our existing line of 24 Volt 6T Power and Energy batteries, first introduced in 2015.

The Bren-Tronics MIL-PRF 32565B Compliant 6T battery is designed to meet the power demands required by ever-expanding electronics packages incorporated into existing and future tactical vehicle fleets, as well as hybrid power solutions, including the USMC MEHPS power system. A single Bren-Tronics 6T will replace at least two of the 12V lead acid batteries used today, cutting weight and volume in half. Applications for the Lithium-Ion 6T power solution include robotics, unmanned vehicles, silent watch, communication systems, weapon systems, active protection systems, auxiliary power systems, and hybrid power systems. (Source: ESD Spotlight)

28 Jul 20. Peking University and Thales sign a contract to develop a very high peak power laser system in China.

  • Thales will provide Peking University with state-of-the-art laser system to increase the University’s research capacities in the field of laser particles acceleration
  • This bold project follows the discoveries of Gérard Mourou, Professor at École Polytechnique, and in particular his work on CPA (Chirped Pulse Amplification) for which Professor Mourou was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018

On June 30, 2020, Peking University and Thales signed a contract to develop a very high peak power laser system (2 PW) at 1Hz in China. This signature marks another successful milestone in Thales and Peking University’s fruitful collaboration. It follows the signing in November 2019 of a strategic agreement for future cooperation in Scientific Research in the area of Physics that was signed in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron, Thales, Peking University and École Polytechnique.

Through this collaboration, Thales will provide its expertise and state-of-the-art laser system to support Peking University in fulfilling the China’s national key R&D program, namely “PW Laser Proton Accelerator Research & Application Demonstration Project” under “Major Scientific Instrument and Equipment Development” to be built at Beijing Huairou Science City. Being located over an area of 100 km² at north of Beijing, this national strategic site will gather the major Chinese research stakeholders.

Thales’ laser system will enable the University to push further the works in the field of laser particle acceleration and help advance human understanding of the physics of matter. It is the first phase of acquisition that will be reinforced in the forthcoming China’s 14th five-year plan (2021-2025).

The project follows the discoveries of Gérard Mourou, professor at École Polytechnique, in particular his notorious work on CPA technique (Chirped Pulse Amplification), for which Professor Mourou was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018. Gérard Mourou’s work is the result of a longstanding laser-research partnership between his laboratory, the Applied Optics Laboratory (LOA)[1], and Thales, whose cutting-edge laser technology expertise expands the use of CPA to new boundaries every day

“Thales has a strong experience in fostering cooperation with internationally renowned research laboratories and institutions. We are delighted to broaden our collaboration with Peking University to support scientific research in China. As a trusted partner for Chinese industries in aerospace, transportation and digital identity and security, Thales actively supports scientific research in physics with the Academic world.”

Pascale Sourisse, President, Thales International

As a leader in laser technologies, Thales has extensive experience in collaboration programs, each of which are adapted to the specific needs of its partners. The Group has worked with ninety research teams across the world over the past three decades. These collaborations include the PW BELLA system for Laser Wakefield Acceleration in Berkeley (USA), the Extreme Light Infrastructure for Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP), developed and commissioned by Romania, the SACLA facility for X-rays generation at Riken Harima in Japan or contributions to the French multi-PW project Apollon for Plasma Physic Research.

[1] Applied Optics Laboratory (LOA – a joint research unit operated under the supervision of  Superior National School of Advanced Techniques (ENSTA), the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and École Polytechnique) – LOA research activity covers a broad spectrum in ultrafast laser-plasma science.

28 Jul 20. Computer Vision: Aerospace and Defense Trends. Computer Vision (CV) has direct applications for satellite and drone use; both create large amounts of data which takes human analysts significant time to examine to search for relevant information. CV has the capacity to comb through this data significantly quicker and decrease the amount of time it takes to obtain actionable information. CV also has direct applications in military technology and its future utilisation will include automated military vehicles as well as missile targeting, and missile defense technology.

Listed below are the key areas in which CV is impacting the aerospace and defense industry, as identified by GlobalData.

Autonomous land vehicles

GlobalData predicts that, between 2020 and 2025, the first fully autonomous vehicles are expected to be operating in limited zones of certain cities. This prediction demonstrates that civilian autonomous vehicles are increasingly advanced. In the military sector, there is an increasing push for unmanned land vehicles, either armed or unarmed. In the US, the DoD is currently seeking bids for the ATLAS program, an advanced automated program which will is designed to potentially be able to control tanks in the future, though with a human operator in the loop.

Fully autonomous drones

Future drones will utilise CV for two reasons, firstly for visual analysis – drones can capture large amounts of visual data using high definition cameras and this currently requires significant work by human operators for analysis. In the future, CV will be used to quickly examine visual data and extract important information. The second utility of CV will be for increased autonomy; currently, drones require a human operator but in future will be almost completely autonomous, potentially gaining the ability to detect and engage targets.

CV for satellite data

Satellites create large amounts of actionable data which CV can help process. This has applications in both the commercial and military sectors. In the military sector, CV could be utilised to locate military architecture or track weapons systems in real-time.

Targeting systems

In line with the projected use of CV with satellite and drones, CV in this context can be utilised to enhance or automate targeting systems, this will be an essential development with faster missile systems which require reactions faster than a human operator can provide. CV does not have to be used to fully automate weapons targeting systems but can be used to increase the accuracy of existing weapons systems. These targeting systems are expected to be applied to future hypersonic weapons, as well as to new missile defence systems.

Tech controversies

A barrier that states will have to overcome is how to integrate tech companies into defence programs whilst overcoming ethical controversies. Project Maven encountered significant difficulties because Google withdrew following opposition from its staff. There is a requirement at present for nondefense companies to be involved with these advanced projects because of their specialist knowledge, and the ethical standards of tech companies will have to be addressed moving forward.

Homeland security

CV technology has significant homeland security applications; the technology can be utilised to protect facilities and to identify people, as well as search for weapons and vehicles. Contracts have already been issued for uses of this technology; TrueFace will be providing applied computer vision at air force bases in the US. This technology can scan crowds to search for individuals or to locate and track cars across cities.

Arms manufacturing

CV has utility for manufacturing, including arms manufacturing. The first is for monitoring complex manufacturing by human operators, in the case of a manufacturing process where an operator has to make many steps; CV can ensure that no steps are missed. The second is quality control; CV can scan outgoing products, munitions, and remove any damaged products from the supply chain.

This is an edited extract from the Computer Vision in Aerospace and Defense – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research. (Source: army-technology.com)

27 Jul 20. Thales among the main patent applicants at the INPI in 2019 is once again in the “Top 100” of the most innovative companies according to the ranking of Clarivate Analytics. Thales appears for the 7th time in the prestigious “100 Global Innovators” ranking of the most innovative companies in the world in 2019. This global ranking published by Clarivate notably rewards the quality of the patent portfolio: number of inventions, related success rates the number of issues, technological influence and geographic coverage to protect the Group’s various markets. This ranking thus underlines Thales’s commitment to innovation, protecting the company’s ideas and bringing inventions to market.

With more than 450 new patent filings each year, Thales enriches its portfolio with 6,500 patent families and more than 23,000 patents, and is one of the top 10 patent filers by the INPI. In 2019, more than a quarter of new filings were made in the area of ​​digital technologies.

These two distinctions demonstrate Thales’s commitment to R&D and the work accomplished by the Group’s 30,000 engineers and 3,500 inventors around the world, who work on high-tech solutions that help build a future of trust.

27 Jul 20. USAF Seeks Startups To Build High-Tech ‘Bases Of The Future.’

The near-term focus is on rebuilding hurricane-ravaged Tyndall AFB, but the long-term goal is to build more resilient bases around the world — including in war zones.

Tomorrow, the Air Force kicks off a unique virtual conference about better ways to build and operate military bases world wide, looking to improve everything from family support, to functionality during pandemics, to resilience against attack.

The central focus of AFWERX Fusion event, running July 28-30, will be pitches from 370 companies, many of them startups, to show off tech such as artificial intelligence, 5G networks, and 3D printing related to base operations. That includes not just home front operations in the United States — although the rise of cyber warfare puts those former sanctuaries at risk — but safeguarding supply lines to expeditionary outposts.

As Breaking D readers know, the military made “logistics under attack” one of its key priorities as it refocuses on so-called all-domain operations against Russia and China, with the Air Force asking for $3bn in 2021 to fund various efforts.

“There is not one support function, or frankly operational function, that couldn’t benefit from some aspect of machine learning applied to it,” Air Force Capt. Michael Kanaan, director of operations at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Accelerator, told reporters today.

The initial plan is for the Air Force to then choose firms for contracts to help in rebuilding Tyndall AFB in Florida, which was wrecked by Hurricane Michael in 2018. But the service is convinced that the technologies and services showcased at the event also will lead to future upgrades, not just at other Air Force bases, but those of the other services as well.

AFWERX Fusion is the annual flagship event put on by the service’s AFWERX innovation hub, each tailored to solve a set of Air Force needs

“The cornerstone of this discussion for the week is “Base of the Future,” starting with all the things that have to happen at Tyndall Air Force Base for looking to build that base in the future,” said Col. Nathan Diller, director of the Air Force’s innovation hub AWERX. “What better place to start than a base that has been decimated?”

Diller and other members of the Base of the Future team briefing reporters today on the event said that besides the typical panel discussions and ‘challenge’ demonstrations used in previous Air Force pitch days, this year’s AFWERX Fusion also includes virtual happy hours and networking opportunities, complete with performers such as Jay Leno. One of the aims of the event, the officials explained, is to help firms connect not just with service partners but also with each other and potential funding partners.

“You have to have some sort of social element for the relationship and team building,” said Col. John Flynn, an Air Force reservist  who is vice president of administration for MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas. “So how do you socially connected when everyone is physically distanced? That’s why we’ve added virtual happy hours, you have workshops, and the showcase that I mentioned, they’ve been integrated throughout the agenda. We think that’s critically important.”

The event is being co-hosted by Flynn and actress Krista Kleiner, a former Miss Philippines. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)


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.


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