Sponsored By Oxley Developments
12 May 22. USMC Bases get ‘electric facelift’ as Marines deploy smart grids, electric vehicles. Marine installations from West Coast air stations to deep South depots are getting an electric facelift as the Corps ramps up its electric vehicle fleet and base “smart grids” for powering the force at home stations.
Following new executive orders to reduce carbon fuel use that would also make for resilient, blackout-proof power grids, the Corps is adding solar panel and renewable energy options with sophisticated software power management at installations such as its air stations, bases and depots in Miramar and Twentynine Palms, California; Yuma, Arizona; Parris Island, South Carolina and Albany, Georgia, officials said.
At the same time the service is finding the “sweet spot” for its nontactical electric vehicle fleet, one official over that program said Tuesday at the 2022 Modern Day Marine exposition in Washington.
And that work is slightly more involved than simply swapping out some charging stations and buying a few Teslas.
The service runs detailed energy resilience readiness exercises at various levels to blackout-proof the location’s power, Walter Ludwig, director of public works for Marine Corps Installations Command, told the audience.
They “can’t put microgrids in place” regardless of power supply ― solar, geothermal or simply diesel generators ― without testing those assets, Ludwig said.
And how are they doing that?
That’s the framework of energy resilience and readiness exercises that his team runs on all of these systems.
The basics include three levels of exercise, starting with a table top exercise that gets everyone involved with power generation and maintenance into a room with those who run the installation.
That group then troubleshoots what are the likely failures and what operational effect those failures would have on the units at that station.
Then they run an intermediate level exercise that tests a single facility during a controlled outage.
That helps them kick the tires on how power shutdowns will cause real effects.
They don’t want to simply flip a switch knocking out power to the base only to find out the hospital’s generators weren’t running.
Last, the team runs a “black start” exercise, which swaps off power sources from the infrastructure grid to backup sources or alternative means across an area. This lets power professionals see the system’s weak points and backups in a complete picture.
As technicians install solar panels, geothermal and other methods for making military bases power independent, the Corps also is looking to build out its nontactical electric vehicle fleet.
James Gough, transportation and logistics service director for Marine Corps Installations Command G-4, noted in his part of the Tuesday presentation that the Marine Corps has had some electric vehicles and charging stations for years on certain bases.
But as technology has improved, upgrades are needed. And, admittedly, some fell into disuse and need to be relocated for easier access.
The group is experimenting not only with stationary, tied in systems but also with mobile charging stations. That way, base commanders and vehicle fleet managers can move stations to where they’re needed most.
“We are excited to have the Beam chargers on Quantico for the means of having the capability to support electric vehicles,” said Master Gunnery Sergeant Ramiro Quintero, transportation branch chief at Quantico, Virginia, in a January press release. “Knowing that we’re able to support the [EV] effort is enough for the mission and for what we do and how we support that aboard the base.”
Having mobile stations, not only on base but at other sites where military electric vehicles may travel, helps override another problem: driver fear.
Studies showed Gough and his team that some electric vehicle users were reluctant to use the platforms, fearing they’d reach the edge of the range and not have enough charge to return.
Other studies showed that adding stations on the periphery of the route increased driver use of electric vehicles, even when they didn’t use the extended charging stations.
Just knowing they were there was enough to inspire confidence in the vehicles, he said.
“What it does for us, it allows us to quickly emplace, and we have 21 chargers in place now at 12 locations, quickly emplace and supply equipment for vehicles now and ones that are coming,” Gough said. “It also allows us the ability to move that charger around. So, we’ll drop that charger in a parking lot today.”
Gough said updating the electric vehicle fleet is giving the Corps a way to look hard at how it is using nontactical vehicles.
It is monitoring the black boxes inside electric vehicles to analyze regularly how fleets are using the vehicles. That helps planners decide whether they need a certain number of vehicles, electric or gas-powered.
Though the directive is there, just like the civilian world, there are supply chain issues. Shortages of key components have meant civilian vehicle manufacturers canceling orders or prioritizing more lucrative commercial purchasers over government contracts that may pay less per unit. (Source: Defense News)
12 May 22. Heart of Britain’s Cold War defences gets new life as launch pad for cutting-edge tech. New owner William Sachiti, an expert in robotics, is also behind the trial deployment of autonomous vehicles on an airbase. RAF Neatishead – once the heart of Britain’s Cold War defences and part of a network of air defence stations – has a new tech entrepreneur owner.
For decades, the RAF base, one of a chain of radar stations along the east coast, kept a watch on the Warsaw Pact, before closing in 2006 with an uncertain future.
Zimbabwean-born tech entrepreneur William Sachiti, an expert in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), has purchased the property with plans to make it an incubator for new technology.
Mr Sachiti and his team of engineers have spent five years developing the ‘Kar-go’, a self-driving electric vehicle that could deliver packages to your door as well as offer military applications.
As part of Project Astra, the RAF has been evaluating Kar-go, testing it around RAF Brize Norton as the Ministry of Defence continues to explore ways of using self-driving vehicles to make deliveries around a military base and carry people from one location to another.
For the sizeable sum Mr Sachiti paid for Neatishead, he gets a lot in return: dozens of buildings, an officers’ Mess (that he intends to turn into his home), a personal squash court, and a vast nuclear bunker that stretches for four acres beneath the base.
Hidden behind an innocuous door, it was where military personnel ran part of Britain’s radar defences, looking out to sea for incoming Soviet aircraft.
The bunker was decommissioned in 2004, with operations transferred to RAF Boulmer in Northumberland, but the power and air conditioning systems were kept running meaning the whole place was preserved just as the military left it nearly two decades ago.
Neatishead’s bunker and radar equipment are listed as structures of historic national interest.
The tech entrepreneur plans to convert several of the other buildings to offices, laboratories and production facilities bringing in some of the best brains in robotics and AI to the Norfolk property.
Neatishead’s military role has not completely disappeared with the RAF next door still operating a much smaller Remote Radar Head as part of the UK’s Air Surveillance and Control System.
The base’s history is also being preserved nearby in the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum which contains the country’s only original Cold War operations room. (Source: Forces.net)
12 May 22. Galvion to demo new Nerv Centr® Hub Application at SOFIC ’22. Galvion, a world leader in the design and manufacture of integrated, soldier-worn power and data management solutions, with operationally proven pedigree in NATO countries, is excited to be demonstrating their new Nerv Centr® Hub Application at SOFIC 2022. Developed to support their recently launched Man-Worn Power and Data capabilities, the Hub Application offers users the ability to monitor real-time power usage in order to more effectively plan for future missions. Galvion’s new Hub Application, along with the full suite of Nerv Centr® power and data provision and management solutions, and next generation Batlskin® head systems, will be on display at SOFIC ’22 in booth #2024.
Missions today depend on charged equipment more than ever before, and the complexity of sustaining soldiers on the battlefield expands and shifts with every new technology. Radios, NVGs, GPS, smart phones, laptops, drones, and other surveillance equipment all demand significant power, and the ability to manage that power efficiently is mission-critical. The new Nerv Centr® Hub Application is designed specifically to make the job of real-time power management for the modern operator much easier.
Simple to use, with an intuitive, easy to understand user interface, the Application allows the user to monitor and analyze power usage. Some features in Live Power mode include estimated remaining run time based on attached power and devices, low power alert and voltmeter to enable optimal solar blanket positioning. The Application also allows for after-mission Power Analysis which offers a more detailed understanding of power usage and allows for comparisons to be made across users. Mission data can then be included in the Power Modeling tool, which analyzes historical and modeled power usage in order to predict future mission needs and enable more precise logistic and support planning. This minimizes battery burden and maximizes run times and efficiency. The Nerv Centr® Hub Application will be available as an enhanced feature for Galvion’s 4-port Power & Data Hub (PDH-4) and will be Android and ATAK compatible.
Kristen Lomastro, President of Active Systems, said: “This is a very proud moment for the Active Systems division at Galvion. Our Software Development group has been refining this Application for a number of years through our future-focused development work, and to now be able to demo this for a wider end-user group is a really important and exciting milestone for the team.” Lomastro continued: “Galvion is well-known for our intelligent power and power management hardware solutions and we see software as the next logical capability enhancement opportunity for operators. Everything that we do here starts with the question ‘how can we make life easier and make missions safer, for the warfighter’. This Application will offer real operational advantages to JTACs, communication specialists and tactical leaders, allowing lighter logistic loads and substantiated, accurate power planning for future missions.”
10 May 22. Curtiss-Wright Introduces Miniature Network Tactical Time-Space Position Information System for Highly Accurate navigational, IMU, and GPS Data. Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, a leading supplier of a flight test instrumentation (FTI) system solutions engineered to succeed, today introduced the newest member of its industry-leading Miniature Network Tactical Time-Space Position Information (MiTSPI) product family. The highly compact and accurate MiTSPI nTTU-2600 delivers user defined TSPI information to support real-time telemetering via Ethernet and/or Chapter 4 PCM (Clock and Data). It also supports simultaneous recording for data retrieval post flight. Curtiss-Wright’s family of MiTSPI miniature TSPI stack subsystems provides 4x accuracy in an envelope 1/10 the size of legacy units typically deployed on existing military platforms. Weighing only 1.5 lb (680 g) and measuring 3.29 x 3.14 x 4.00” (84 x 80 x 102 mm), the MiTSPI nTTU-2600 is ideal for use in demanding size, weight and power (SWaP) constrained applications, such as flight test, missile test, and hypersonics test. It provides highly accurate positional information for both location and orientation in space, to capture critical data such as navigational, IMU, and GPS information.
“We are very excited to further enhance and upgrade our proven family of miniature network TSPI solutions,” said Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions. “Flight test programs need extremely accurate positional information, for both location and orientation in space, but they also need to reduce the weight and footprint of the sensor subsystems deployed on test platforms. Our new MiTSPI nTTU-2600 delivers the accuracy they seek combined with a built-in data recorder that connects to a transmitter for downlinking via PCM so the test platform’s position, orientation, and movement can be accurately correlated with data from other sources.”
The MiTSPI nTTU-2600 transmits real-time serial and Ethernet TSPI at data rates up to 20 Mbps and features a 100Base-T Ethernet interface. It supports a MINS-600 egress rate of 1 Mb/s. The unit’s data recorder features a PCM output to transfer data into a transmitter. The MiTSPI nTTU-2600 stack includes the following Curtiss-Wright subsystems and functional blocks for data acquisition and recording:
- MINS-600-1: Interface to external connections and source of all TSPI position information to be formatted for TM and recording.
- MREC-601-1: CompactFlash Express (CFexpress) high-speed recording module.
- MPPC-600-3: Processor module.
- MACQ-600-1: Data acquisition module.
- MPFM-461/MPSM-2005-3: Power filtering and power supply module.
10 May 22. ClariFi Adds Non-Intrusive Tracing to Analyze High-Speed Events in Embedded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Applications. ClariFi Insight offers small-footprint, non-intrusive tracing for ClarinoxBlue and ClarinoxWiFi. Clarinox Technologies, a leader in short range connectivity software, today announced the addition of ClariFi Insight, a non-intrusive trace and debugger that enables customers to debug their systems that include ClarinoxWiFi or ClarinoxBlue. ClariFi Insight traces the behavior of a system, enabling developers to more easily identify and correct errant application behavior by capturing high-speed events. This has been successfully tested at speeds of 100mbit/s UDP over Wi-Fi.
ClariFi Insight traces the behavior of a system, enabling developers to
more easily identify and correct errant application behavior by capturing
high-speed events. This has been successfully tested at speeds of
100mbit/s UDP over Wi-Fi
Unlike many debug tools, ClariFi Insight is non-intrusive and does not interfere with the normal behavior and functionality of embedded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth applications. Such interference is particularly problematic with high-speed applications as the typical trace debug process creates interruptions that interfere with system sequencing and performance. The small footprint of ClariFi Insight ensures that developers can trace and debug high-speed events without slowing the software application and impacting normal system behavior.
ClariFi Insight Simplifies Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Application Analysis
As the high-speed connectivity of embedded systems increases, so has the challenge of debugging system behavior. The trend toward cloud connectivity, remote management and increased system integration requires once disparate systems to now work together. Firmware from multiple silicon vendors, real-time operating systems (RTOS)/operating systems (OS), and TCP/IP stack combine with a plethora of drivers such as USB, UART, and SDIO, as well as the connectivity stacks all operating under the customer’s own embedded application layer. ClariFi Insight provides information about how the various parts function and perform as they communicate and pass data to the ClarinoxWiFi and ClarinoxBlue components.
“Debugging high-speed, highly integrated systems can be a nightmare for developers these days. ClariFi Insight reduces that challenge, providing clarity into the behavior of even high-speed Wi-Fi, such as video streaming from a camera over Wi-Fi at tens of megabits speed,” said Gokhan Tanyeri, CTO, Clarinox Technologies. “ClariFi Insight is designed for debugging performance issues, but it can also be helpful for projects without a spare port for debugging or where the communications port, such as UART, is too slow to capture the high-speed events. It can also be used for Bluetooth applications such as A2DP music streaming.”
How ClariFi Insight Works
ClariFi Insight uses a small memory buffer at a set memory location to trace functionality. A buffer—as small as a few kilobytes—is sufficient to enable a developer to debug a system crash or capture what is taking place on the target. When coupled with the option of defining custom events with short or long packets of data, these insights give engineers the visibility needed to trace whether one part of the system is attempting to communicate and/or pass data incorrectly or at the wrong time—typical factors that result in aberrant system behavior.
Once ClariFi Insight records the predefined events, the data can be read into ClariFi, where the full set of tools, including the Lua scripting capability, can search and fully analyze the information. The ClariFi Insight information can then be used with or without these other ClariFi debug, protocol analysis, and automated testing features. ClariFi Insight performance measurements could, for example, be taken during an automated testing session driven by ClariFi scripting engine. Various data formats are supported for reading the data by ClariFi; currently raw binary, Intel hex format or Motorola S format is supported.
“Because of ClariFi Insight’ small, non-intrusive nature, application developers can embed it in the release code,” Trish Messiter, Clarinox Technologies, CEO added. “When added to the release code, ClariFi Insight can be used to collect data on customer-reported issues from the field, if needed. Developers—and their customers—can rest assured that any bugs that happen not only during development, but also afterwards, can be traced and fixed.”
For more details of ClariFi, see https://www.clarinox.com/products/clarifi/
About Clarinox Technologies Pty Ltd
Clarinox Technologies Pty Ltd was formed with the aim of providing cost-effective and innovative wireless embedded systems solutions for businesses developing embedded products. Members of the Clarinox team leverage their experience with embedded systems design to develop leading-edge Bluetooth and Wi-Fi solutions. ClarinoxWiFi provides STA, AP & P2P as well as security protocols. ClarinoxBlue is qualified as Bluetooth version 5.2 covering both Classic and LE, inclusive of BLE audio profiles/services and LC3 codec. Clarinox is passionate about delivering flexible and robust wireless protocol software for embedded systems developments. For more information, visit https://www.clarinox.com/
12 Apr 22. Call issued for EDA Defence Innovation Prize 2022. EDA today issued a call for applications from parties interested in participating in the ‘EDA Defence Innovation Prize 2022’ which, in close cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA), is dedicated this year to the following topic: Space-based surveillance and reconnaissance defence technologies (space domain) focusing on debris and artificial orbiting objects.
Applicants are called to submit stimulating innovative solutions & technologies on Space-based surveillance and reconnaissance defence technologies (space domain) focusing on debris, artificial orbiting objects, and man-made objects with unexpected behaviour. The topic was chosen against the background of an increasingly crowded space environment which makes it necessary for military users to address the issue of identifying and tracking debris and man-made objects in all orbital regions. In this context, satellite operators – including military ones – are urgently looking for collision avoidance tools and solutions to support their decision-making for dedicated manoeuvres.
The proposed technologies and innovative solutions are thus expected to focus on:
- Enhanced Space Traffic Management (STM) capabilities for military purposes and dual-use, for instance: tracking in all orbital regions for orbit refinement; safe deorbiting and rapid manoeuvring of military satellites; predicting and avoiding potential collisions, among others.
- Awareness and tracking of debris and artificial objects, for instance: tracking in all orbit regions for natural and artificial objects; tracking and identifying of objects and threats in space; enhanced ability to maintain real-time awareness of the space domain; space debris detection and tracking through satellite grids; detection of very small LEO debris; space-based telescopes and radars, among others.
The winning idea/concept will be awarded 30,000€.
For the evaluation of ideas, ESA’s Space Debris Office will provide its expertise on space debris environment modelling, technologies for observation and mitigating space debris, as well as from its experience in collision avoidance for ESA’s missions.
How to apply?
The deadline for submitting applications is 9 September 2022.
The contest rules and application criteria/details can be found here, (plus the annexes to the call for applications here).
The prize will be handed over during the 2022 EDA Annual Conference in Brussels later this year.
Submitted innovations must be the applicants’ own intellectual property. However, submissions may include improvements of already existing ideas, new combinations or adaptations of them applicable in a different context. The applicants must demonstrate the innovative added value of their ideas, compared to what exists already. Proposals must be innovative, implementable through a collaborative project and financially affordable in terms of future development and exploitation.
Who can apply?
The contest is especially (but not exclusively) aimed at non-traditional defence industries (civil or dual-use producers) and researchers as they play a growing role in inventing and creating the disruptive capabilities that Member States’ Armed Forces will need tomorrow. The contest also provides a good opportunity for small and medium sized enterprises, research organisations and universities involved in defence R&D activities to demonstrate their know-how, maximize dual-use synergies and create partnerships with key players in the defence field.
Since 2018, the Agency organises the ‘EDA Defence Innovation Prize’ which rewards companies and research entities who come up with ground-breaking technologies, products, processes, or services applicable in the defence domain. The contest aims to stimulate defence innovation in Europe and provide non-traditional defence stakeholders (civil industries, SMEs, research organisations, universities, etc.) with an opportunity to showcase their know-how in domains relevant for defence. (Source: EDA)
10 May 22. “The Edge of Tomorrow” is a project focused on the development of cutting-edge technologies to improve a range of mission capabilities including lethality, situational awareness, survivability, stamina, cognitive load, enemy exposure, performance analysis and simulation, command and control, and more among combat soldiers in the IDF’s Infantry Corps. The project aims to strengthen the synergy between individual soldiers and their teams through the adoption of the Soldier as System (SAS) and the Platoon as System (PAS) approaches.
“The Edge of Tomorrow” project incorporates networked warfare technologies including communications for the soldier and team level as well as TORCH-X-based applications for team and platoon levels. The various technologies include augmented reality goggles, a computerized assault rifle system, a digital head-mounted display system, hostile fire detection technology, a location-tracking system in GPS denied environments, tactile sleeves for navigation and command transmittance, and a voice command system (similar to systems used on smartphones).
The DDR&D’s Department of R&D together with “Elbit Systems”, the project’s integrator, and additional defense industries recently demonstrated the project’s capabilities at an IDF training center. The demonstration included a simulated response to an operational scenario. IDF soldiers from elite units incorporated the wearable technologies and demonstrated initial abilities in the fields of lethality, survivability, and increased synergy.
Lt. Col. Shlomi Buskila, Head of the LWSOF Branch in the DDR&D: “‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is an innovative project that is extremely unique thanks to our change in perspective. The project aims to enable optimal operational value for the infantry combat soldiers by strengthening the synergy between them and their team. The project incorporates a wide array of advanced technologies used by the soldiers and their teams, leading to a whole much greater than the sum of its parts.”
Haim Delmar, General Manager of Elbit Systems C4I & Cyber: “The purpose of this project is to equip combat soldiers, teams, and platoons with innovative capabilities that will significantly improve their survivability and transform their mission effectiveness. The technological solution that we have put in place is based on open architecture which enables the maximization of proven technology by Elbit Systems as well as by additional companies. The project will also incorporate technologies that were developed and adapted to address the needs of the future battlefield with special emphasis on urban warfare. We are proud to lead this important effort together with the Ministry of Defense and the IDF.”
09 May 22. APC Technology Group Turns To CEI. Since 1964, Custom Electronics, Inc. (CEI) has been a trusted, globally recognized manufacturer known for producing top-quality and reliable products throughout the military, commercial and industrial markets. For nearly 40 years, CEI has been working alongside specialist electronic components designer and distributer APC Technology Group (APC) to create unique, highly regarded solutions that include CEI’s storage products, such as its mica capacitors, busbars and batteries.
APC Technology specializes in creating reliable, highly specified solutions for the military and aerospace industries. The brand’s team of electronic engineers work directly with CEI in incorporating its custom mica capacitors and busbars into APC Technologies military and aerospace projects. “We have a very long relationship with CEI,” says Richard Hodgson, Chief Executive at APC Technology Group. “We work with a lot of businesses, but CEI is one of our top partners. What CEI produces is unique and highly regarded within the industries we both work within. In addition, CEI consistently meets and exceeds requirements and delivery schedules.”
With almost 40 years of collaborative experience, APC Technology and CEI have created a successful partnership between the brands. “Given the environments these solutions are going into, extremely high and low temperatures and high altitude, it’s incredibly important to our end customers that we include only the highest quality products into our designs,” explains Hodgson. “CEI’s mica capacitors are a go-to product for a lot of our engineers. There are very few technologies that can withstand these environments.”
A delicate process, CEI mica capacitors are made of fragile mica paper, featuring layers of conductive and non-conductive material with hand-formed blades. “Over the years that we’ve dealt with CEI, there’s been no failure on any front,” Hodgson continues. “They can always deliver that kind of power performance when it’s required. We get fantastic products from them because their production site is fantastic. Everything is handmade, hand-wound and hand-cleaned. It’s a very well-made product that doesn’t fail, and that’s why customers keep coming back.”
Moving forward, APC is looking to incorporate CEI’s newest product, the CMP2500 portable battery system, into its storage solution designs. “We’re really excited about some of the new products that CEI is working on, including the new CMP2500,” says Hodgson. At the heart of the CMP2500 battery system are LiFePO4 lithium-iron phosphate cells. Each battery has a 2.5kWh capacity while the system provides up to 10 kWh capacity at 24 VDC or up to 5 kWh at 12 VDC. The batteries are housed in a rugged military-spec case that can be moved by one person, making it ideal for military and defense field and training applications including charging of drones, running simulations, targetry and silent watch.
“The quality, reliability and durability of CEI products in addition to the integrity of working with such a great group of people from CEI is second to none,” concludes Hodgson. “This is something that is sometimes lacking in the modern world; CEI is an amazing company.”
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley offer a range of Military Marine NVG friendly LED lighting that includes navigation lights and controls, flight deck landing lights and interior compartment lighting. Our lighting products are used by Navies around the world including our own Royal Navy on UK Aircraft Carriers, Canadian Frigates, Swedish Submarines, Australian Surface vessels and Submarines, on board French Naval Carriers and in Naval Gun Turrets.
The technology is extremely energy efficient and built robustly, with proven long life. The lighting is NVG friendly, dimmable and programmable to allow for operations with aircraft pilots using military night vision goggles. They offer superior design giving high reliability for the most demanding environments with high sealing and the ability to meet the most stringent EMC standards.
Oxley are proud to say that we are working in partnership with SeaKing to enable a control panel to be offered with our LED Navigation Lighting. All of Oxley navigation lights have been specifically developed for vessels over 50 metres.
Contact Marcus Goad on 07850 917 263 for more information or to arrange samples.
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.