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04 June 21. New UK £210m centre to create jobs of the future with AI and quantum computing. A new artificial intelligence and quantum computing centre has been launched in North West England, thanks to a £210m. investment from the Government and IBM to help cement the UK’s status as a science superpower.
- New centre launched in partnership with IBM to cement quantum and artificial intelligence (AI) expertise
- £210m investment over 5 years will give public and private sectors access to cutting-edge computing to boost innovation
- Centre will support 60 new scientific jobs in Liverpool City Region
The Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI), based at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory in the Liverpool City Region, will create vacancies for an additional 60 scientists and opportunities for students to gain invaluable hands-on experience.
The centre – a partnership between STFC and IBM – will bring together world-leading expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing to support the application of the cutting-edge technologies in industry and the public sector.
Possible industry applications of quantum computing include optimising complex logistics such as picking and packing orders in large warehouses for supermarkets; traffic routing; energy distribution; improving design and manufacturing processes across automotive sectors.
The government will invest £172m over 5 years through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), with an additional £38m being invested by IBM. £28m of the government’s investment will be in the first year.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway, “Artificial intelligence and quantum computing have the potential to revolutionise everything from the way we travel to the way we shop. This fantastic new partnership with IBM will not only help businesses get ready for the future of computing, but create 60 jobs in the region – boosting innovation and growing the economy as we build back better from the pandemic.”
The HNCDI will make cutting-edge technologies like AI and quantum computing more accessible to businesses and public sector organisations.
As well as breaking down practical barriers to using new technologies, for example by providing access to equipment and infrastructure, the team of experts at HNCDI will also provide training and support to make sure the UK is at the forefront of the next generation of computing.
Dario Gil, Senior Vice President and Director, IBM Research, “The world is facing grand challenges which demand a different approach towards science in computing, including AI and quantum computing, to engage a broad community across industry, government, and academia to accelerate discovery in science and business.This partnership establishes our first Discovery Accelerator in Europe driven by our two UK-based IBM Research locations in Hursley and Daresbury as they contribute to our global mission of building discovery-driven communities around the world.”
The technologies that have transformed our lives – the building blocks of modern computers, the mobile phone, the laser, the MRI scanner – are all products of quantum science. This involves harnessing the unique ways that light and matter behave at tiny atomic or subatomic levels.
A new generation of quantum technologies exploit breakthroughs in the way that we are able to precisely manipulate and measure these special properties, to engineer quantum devices – like sensors and computers – with dramatically enhanced functionality and performance.
The centre will work across sectors including materials, life sciences, environment and manufacturing. This will include collaboration with academic and industrial research communities, including start-ups and SMEs, public sector, and government.
Professor Mark Thomson, Executive Chair of STFC, “The HNCDI programme will foster discovery and provide a stimulus for industry innovation in the UK. By allowing industry to access a ready-made community of digital experts and cutting-edge technology, it will provide momentum for new ideas and solutions. This programme has the potential to transform the way UK industry engages with AI and digital technologies, to the benefit of not just research communities but all of society.”
About the Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI)
The HNCDI aims to:
- Turn ideas into practical digital solutions to maximise benefit for UK industry
- find the right technologies needed for projects to succeed and make businesses more competitive
- provide training and skills to staff, in order to take full advantage of digital technologies
- support industry investment in emerging technologies to make businesses more resilient
STFC Hartree Centre
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre’s mission is to transform UK industry through high performance computing, data analytics and AI technologies. As part of UK Research and Innovation, the Hartree Centre is home to some of the most advanced computing, data and AI technologies in the UK.
From early stage SMEs to international corporations, Hartree Centre experts work with industry and the research community to address real life challenges and accelerate the adoption of high performance technologies, delivering transformative gains in performance, productivity and time to market.
IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalise on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.(Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
03 June 21. Radiation-tolerant solid-state data recorder dramatically transforms on-orbit data processing and storage. Flexible, compact solution is highest-density commercial SSDR available for applications at the forefront of space technology. Mercury Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com), a leader in trusted, secure mission-critical technologies for aerospace and defense, today unveiled the new RH3480 radiation-tolerant solid-state data recorder (SSDR), the highest-density commercial SSDR available today. Designed in a compact, rugged and standards-based flexible form factor, the RH3480 is ideal for radiation-intensive space and terrestrial applications, including low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites, high-altitude aircraft, missiles, launch vehicles and scientific missions.
“As data from satellites advances in complexity and the sizes of satellite designs become smaller and smaller, we need trusted, compact solutions to store and transmit large amounts of data quickly and efficiently,” said Tom Smelker, vice president and general manager, Mercury Data. “Our new line of solid-state data recorders, purpose-built to answer the demand for agile, radiation-tolerant storage devices rugged enough for space applications, represent Mercury’s commitment to delivering the technologies of tomorrow today for critical missions on Earth and beyond.”
Featuring horizontal error correction, industrial-grade flash memory and a fault-tolerant design, the RH3480 provides long-term data integrity to match the operational life of a satellite or life of a mission. Mercury’s latest modular form factor is significantly smaller than typical SSDRs and supports a higher data capacity, providing users with ease of integration and flexibility in their applications. The RH3480’s proven reliability in radiation-intensive environments and low power consumption enables on-orbit sensor digital data processing and storage to transfer significantly more data in less time, enabling real-time decision-making.
Mercury is a leader in designing and manufacturing space-qualified components and assemblies for defense primes, government agencies, the scientific community and commercial customers. The company has delivered more than 20,000 space-qualified devices with no in-flight failures. Its custom microelectronics solutions are radiation-tolerant and optimized to operate in the harsh environment of space on more than 65 satellite and launch vehicle programs, including every Mars Rover expedition and the recently announced NASA earth imaging spectrometer instrument.
01 June 21. Arqit and Northrop Grumman in the UK sign quantum encryption collaboration agreement. Arqit, the quantum encryption company, has signed a collaboration agreement with Northrop Grumman in the UK. Through the collaboration, Arqit, which is developing end-to-end quantum encryption using satellite distribution, will work with Northrop Grumman to develop and understand this novel technology for potential use in defence and national security settings.
The collaboration work programme has already begun in order to assess technological possibilities. The next phase of the collaboration agreement is to assess technical performance on project applications, to be agreed to as early as next month.
Arqit Founder, David Williams, said: “Northrop Grumman is an important and respected supplier in aerospace, satellite technology and mission critical cyber solutions – on both sides of the Atlantic. The partnership will rapidly accelerate the delivery of products to government and defence end-users across the 5 Eyes territories.”
Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman UK, Europe and Middle East said: “Working with advanced and highly innovative British technology companies like Arqit is central to our UK partnership strategy. Leveraging our U.S. expertise related to market access for quantum encryption technology has the potential to add significant value to our customer solutions.”
(Source: PR Newswire)
02 June 21. Russian Drones to Get Precision Navigation System. Russian unmanned aerial vehicles will be outfitted with a unique strapdown inertial navigation system produced by KRET Group within the state tech corporation Rostec, the Rostec press office reported on Friday.
“The system’s advantage is that it features high accuracy and offers a possibility of autonomous operation: it can determine coordinates and parameters of the movement of objects even in the absence of ground, sea or space reference points,” the statement says.
Initially, this system was used in aircraft-making. Subsequently, it was adapted for drones. Strapdown inertial systems are lighter and smaller compared to platform-based versions and can operate at considerable loads, the Rostec press office said.
“Navigational systems feature the option of operation based on GPS or Glonass in the combined mode or autonomously. At the same time, the systems’ margin error is less than 1% in the normal mode of operation and less than 2% in the autonomous mode,”
the press office quoted KRET Group CEO Nikolai Kolesov as saying.
The new system was successfully tested on drones in 2020, Rostec said.
“The first prototypes of the latest navigational systems will be delivered for their use on Russian drones already in 2021, the Rostec press office said. (Source: UAS VISION/TASS)
02 June 21. Insitu Pacific and Innovaero to Collaborate on UAS Platforms. Insitu Pacific and Perth-based aeronautical technology company Innovaero Pty Ltd have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to strengthen and support the development of Australian technology for uncrewed aerial systems (UAS).
A key collaboration area of the agreement will see Insitu Pacific provide its common architecture software and ground control solutions to enable Innovaero to rapidly progress development of its innovative Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) InnovaeroFOX UAS. The two companies will also explore opportunities for Innovaero to support Insitu Pacific by participating in its global supply chain.
Andrew Duggan, managing director, Insitu Pacific said the MOA demonstrated both companies’ commitment to building sovereign capability in Australia through the development of leading-edge technologies.
“As part of Boeing, Insitu Pacific has extensive experience in autonomous systems technology projects in Australia and across the region, and we look forward to leveraging this experience to work with Innovaero on new opportunities,” Duggan said.
Innovaero Group CEO Simon Grosser said the agreement would advance Innovaero’s plans for integrating FOX with a common operating system across a broad range of platforms.
“We are delighted to begin working with Insitu Pacific and Boeing on areas of mutual interest.
“I am very proud that as a 100 percent Australian-owned company, Innovaero has been able to demonstrate a sovereign design and manufacturing capability that is clearly world class,” Grosser said.
The MOA is also expected to support projects and innovation to explore the interoperability of UAS platforms, and how these capabilities can be employed by the Australian Defence Force and regional Asia-Pacific defence forces.
“Innovaero recognises that partnerships with established defence prime systems integrators such as Boeing’s Insitu Pacific, along with ongoing support and encouragement from the Australian Government, are key to accessing global markets for unique, Australian products such as FOX,” Grosser said. (Source: UAS VISION)
02 June 21. Sonardyne and SeeByte advance UMS navigation and autonomy in challenging environments. Maritime defence technology company Sonardyne and uncrewed maritime systems (UMS) software experts SeeByte have been awarded UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) funding to enhance and extend the future operational capability of autonomous and remotely operated systems in challenging battlespace domains.
The collaboration is the second phase of the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)’s Autonomy in Challenging Environments competition and builds on the work both organisations undertook in Phase 1.
Sonardyne advanced underwater positioning system will be teamed with SeeByte’s adaptive, communication-aware, robotic behaviour developed for their autonomy system Neptune to allow the UMS to operate in highly complex, variable and communications-limited environments. Automatic target recognition imagery snippets will be transferred acoustically using SeeByte’s novel semantic compression software.
As part of the project, Sonardyne and SeeByte will be using surface and underwater assets from Project Wilton, a recently formed maritime autonomous systems (MAS) team based out of HM Naval Base Clyde. The collaboration will culminate in a series of in-water demonstrations at Project Wilton facilities in the UK.
Sonardyne will install a Mini-Ranger 2 underwater positioning system onboard Project Wilton’s ARCIMS uncrewed surface vessel (USV) and AvTrak 6 Nano telemetry and tracking transceivers to the team’s Iver 3 autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), which will be managed by SeeByte’s autonomous networked acoustic communications system.
In addition, Sonardyne’s SPRINT-Nav instrument will also be integrated with the ARCIMS USV to provide an independent navigation reference in GNSS-denied environments.
Teamed with SeeByte’s adaptive, communication-aware, robotic behaviour developed for their autonomy system Neptune, the UMS will be able to operate in highly complex, variable and communications-limited environments. Automatic target recognition imagery snippets will be transferred acoustically using SeeByte’s novel semantic compression software.
This project will enable optimal uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV) distribution for improved subsea communications and navigation in a range of challenging environments.
Ioseba Tena, Head of Defence at Sonardyne said, “Collaborative autonomy is part of the maritime defence road map. We need to enable more robots and have fewer operators in the underwater battlespace. Working alongside leaders in autonomy development like SeeByte, to make that vision a reality, as part of the Autonomy in Challenging Environments competition, is a significant step towards that goal.”
Andrea Munafo, Technical Program Manager at SeeByte said, “UMS operate in challenging environments and they need to be robust against faltering communications and navigation. Partnering with Sonardyne makes it possible for our autonomous systems to consider both during real-time execution and hence to improve the effectiveness of future underwater missions.”
DASA’s Autonomy in Challenging Environments competition is funded through the UK Ministry of Defence’s Chief Scientific Adviser’s Research Programme’s Autonomy Incubator project. Awards are made by DASA on behalf of Dstl.
The Autonomy Incubator project aims to: Identify and develop underpinning research and technologies to support the development and fielding of unmanned systems across defence. This work can be matured through the wider Dstl Autonomy Programme and other research and development programmes.
Dstl delivers high-impact science and technology for the UK’s defence, security and prosperity. Dstl is an Executive Agency of the MOD with around 4,000 staff working across four sites: Porton Down, near Salisbury, Portsdown West, near Portsmouth, Fort Halstead, near Sevenoaks, and Alverstoke, near Gosport.
28 May 21, Racing towards zero to drive innovation and protect against future threats. BAE Systems has joined the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign, by signing up to the Business Ambition for 1.5°C.
This commits us to setting science-based targets to align with the aim of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming. Earlier this year, we announced our target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our operations by 2030 and across our value chain by 2050.
In order to achieve these goals, we will be investing in low to zero energy carbon products and renewable energy solutions, supporting our supply chains to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pioneering new technology to help our customers move towards net zero.
BAE Systems’ chief executive, Charles Woodburn, said: “As a technology leader employing thousands of highly skilled innovators and investing heavily in research and development, we have a responsibility to use our expertise to pioneer new ways to tackle the very real threats we’re facing. Making the commitments as part of Race to Zero is an important part of our pledge to help tackle the climate crisis as we seek to learn from others and share best practice to achieve this common goal.”
With the threat environment continually evolving, governments around the world need to consider how to protect against not just physical and cyber threats, but also the challenges posed by climate change and the impacts on people and communities.
We know that innovation lies at the forefront of delivering a sustainable future and managing these evolving threats. We’re already using technology to transform our operations.
- Australia’s Hunter Class Frigates will be built in one of the most digitally advanced, sustainable and energy efficient shipyards in the world
- In the US, our San Diego shipyard has been recognised for its environmental sustainability practices including our all-electric dry dock fitted with LED lighting and electric cranes, which are reducing annual electricity usage and diesel fuel consumption
- At Portsmouth Naval Base in the UK, work is underway to de-carbonise facilities and our teams are using augmented reality and artificial intelligence to improve operational efficiency while reducing carbon emissions
- Additive manufacturing technology is being used in combat air production, cutting production time and reducing material and energy consumption. In recent trials, we reduced the production time of a large engine mount frame for a Typhoon aircraft, from 100 weeks to just 60 days
As well as innovating for a net zero future for ourselves, we’re also working with governments and commercial customers to design sustainable solutions which are helping to reduce carbon emissions.
- The adoption of synthetic pilot training in the UK – more than 13,000 hours in 2020 – helped to save around 75 million litres of aviation fuel, equivalent to 184,000 tonnes of CO2
- HMS Spey, which we handed over to the Royal Navy last year is one of the most environmentally friendly ships to join the fleet thanks to a urea filter which reduces nitrogen oxide emissions from the diesel generators by around 90%
- PHASA-35 is a ground-breaking, unmanned aircraft whose battery and solar technology could allow the aircraft to stay in the stratosphere for up to a year, providing persistent monitoring, surveillance or communications capabilities
- Globally, more than 13,000 buses have been equipped with BAE Systems’ low and zero emission electric drive propulsion systems capable of saving more than 100 million litres of fuel and preventing approximately 313,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year
- Our engineers are working to address emerging demand for similar electrification technology in the marine, military and air markets.
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.