Sponsored By Oxley Developments
15 June 22. Oxley Wins Contract on the British Army’s Boxer Programme. Oxley Group has secured its position as leading the global market in vehicle lighting following the award of the contract for LED lighting on the British Army’s new Boxer vehicles. The contract is worth £3.7M and has been jointly awarded by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and Rheinmetall Landsysteme (RLS).
Oxley Group will be providing internal lighting, directed lighting, search lights and IR lights on to Boxer vehicles until 2030, as part of the UK MOD’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme.
The end-to-end design and manufacture of the lighting will be undertaken by a skilled team of 150 engineers and support staff at the Oxley site in Ulverston, Cumbria. This contract will support further growth and protect key manufacturing skills in the UK, including the apprentices currently receiving training within the organisation.
The Boxer vehicles will be equipped with the ’best in class’ LED lighting. Oxley lighting solutions offer high-build quality and high performance, as well as meeting the most stringent EMC and power standards. Oxley has many decades’ experience in manufacturing LED lighting with excellent optical performance and advanced technical characteristics, specifically designed for military vehicle applications.
Darren Cavan, Oxley Group CEO said: “We’re delighted to be awarded this contract, to be part of a prestigious advanced technological platform such as the Boxer is confirmation of our world leading position in the provision of high-performance lighting for military vehicles and we look forward to working in partnership with the RSBL and RLS teams as this programme develops.”
Simon Fell, MP for Barrow & Furness commented: “This contract shows just how well regarded the fantastic Oxley team are. They are world-leaders in producing LED lighting for the defence industry and, in their 80th year, are showing that their brightest days remain ahead of them. This contract will secure jobs and enable the business to plan for the future, further cementing Ulverston’s position as an advanced manufacturing centre. The team should be rightly proud of being selected to deliver this contract.”
Stuart Evans, RBSL Project Director for the Boxer Programme said: “It is a pleasure to announce this latest contract award as it will not only help us to successfully deliver the Boxer programme for the British Army, but it will secure jobs and protect UK manufacturing skills.
“We are making great progress in developing the programme and we look forward to working with Oxley Group as we commence the next phase of the project.”
The MIV programme aims to support and enhance the UK supply chain. As such, RBSL and RLS are part of a MIV Joint Procurement Team, which has engaged suppliers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This contract is the latest in a series of supplier contracts for the MIV programme.
The Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) contract was announced in November 2019 between the UK MOD and ARTEC – a joint venture between RLS, Rheinmetall Defence Nederland B.V, and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. The contract will meanwhile deliver over 600 Boxer vehicles to the British Army.
Vehicle production is subcontracted equally between RBSL and WFEL. The companies will undertake the fabrication of the armoured vehicle structures together with the assembly, integration and test of the complete vehicles at their respective facilities in Telford and Stockport, with support from the UK supply chain.
Oxley is a world leading designer and manufacturer of high specification LED lighting, night vision solutions and electronic components, products are in use worldwide on aircraft, vehicle and naval platforms. The Oxley lighting range includes commercial off the shelf products for upgrade and new build programmes and the team specialises in the design of full lighting solutions.
The Oxley range also includes EMC filters, LED indicator lamps and interconnect products; all designed for challenging military applications. The Group offers a full turn-key solution from its site in Cumbria and products are exported worldwide.
16 June 22. The US Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy have officially opened a joint London-based “tech bridge” to increase investment in new technologies for both countries.
“Being in London, right next to the strategic headquarters of our Armed Forces, and at the heart of this great global city, allows exposure not only to the latest thinking in defence innovation, but provides physical access to those varied organisations and individuals conducting some of the most exciting technological research and development anywhere in the world,” Rear Adm. James Parkin, a senior Royal Navy officer, said in a June 15 statement.
Also present at the ceremony was US Navy Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, chief of naval research. “The opening of the London Tech Bridge’s innovation hub represents a new way for great minds to come together in a unique atmosphere, share ideas and technologies, and foster more effective research collaboration,” he added.
The “tech bridge” concept, which essentially aims to ease the sharing of technologies between services, academia and industry, originated in the US Navy in 2019 when then-Navy acquisition executive Hondo Geurts established “NavalX.” That office, he said at the time, was designed to improve the Navy’s way of doing business by connecting people who would not usually talk to each other through the normal acquisition process.
Since then, the service has established more than a dozen NavalX offices around the US, and announced its intention to open an international office in London in 2020.
The new London location will host an in initial “Tea and Tech” event this month to kick “off a monthly session with industry in specified technology areas, allowing companies to pitch their ideas and technology,” according to a statement issued by the Royal Navy. Those technologies include AI and autonomy, directed energy and green energy, advanced manufacturing, maintenance and sustainment.
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
17 June 22. Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com), a leader in trusted, secure mission-critical technologies for aerospace and defense, today announced a new family of low-power, ultra-compact tuner modules purpose-built to support customers’ spectrum processing applications such as signals intelligence (SIGINT), direction finding (DF) and test and measurement. The high-performance design and compact size of the new AM9018 and AM9030 modules brings faster broadband RF processing to mission-critical operations in harsh environments, where space is at a premium such as in small ISR drones and man-portable SIGINT systems.
Mercury’s innovative microwave technology provides the agile broadband RF needed so that SIGINT solutions can quickly identify and counter a target’s electronic signals and communications.
“Our customers require broadband performance in a compact size for their processing-intensive SIGINT applications like electronics intelligence (ELINT),” said Clay Couey, senior director and general manager, Mercury Microwave. “By developing our own monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) devices, we can design very small tuners – approximately the size of a few credit cards – that enable customers to build signal collection platforms compact enough to fit in a UAV, directly supporting mission needs to counter adversarial threats.”
Mercury’s new, SWaP-optimized RF tuners leverage the Company’s custom MMIC design capability resulting from their recent Atlanta Micro acquisition. These custom semiconductor devices, available as stand-alone products, allow maximum space savings and broadband performance.
Built with MMIC technology for maximum SWaP optimization
- Extremely low-power 2–18 GHz tuner module
- Ultra-compact form factor: approximately 1.4″ x 3.0” x 0.3″
- 1 GHz instantaneous bandwidth for fast signal intercept
Transmit (AM9030) and receive (AM9018) variants available
16 June 22. Improbable is launching a new research initiative that brings together academic partners from across the UK to help government bolster national resilience and security. Experts in modelling and simulation technologies from the universities of Oxford, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Durham are teaming up with London-based technology company, Improbable.
The new initiative – the Myridian programme – aims to help the UK and its allies analyse and overcome fluid, fast-moving and intricately interrelated challenges ranging from climate change and humanitarian crises to political interference, disinformation and threats posed by potential adversaries across air, land, sea, space and cyber.
It will do so by making the latest research and innovations from the nation’s leading academic and research institutions available, useful and usable to government – and to do so more quickly and economically than is currently possible.
Improbable will expand the Myridian programme to include more academic and research organisations, and to engage experts from across disciplines including modelling and simulation, data analytics, AI and machine learning, distributed systems, social dynamics and human behaviour, and other related fields.
“The world is increasingly unstable and threats to our security and national resilience are evolving at a frightening pace,” says Joe Robinson, CEO of Improbable’s defence division. “If the UK is to compete successfully as the world order shifts – and if it is to secure its status as a science and technology superpower before the end of the decade – we need to ensure that the world-class research and innovation from across industry and academia is made available to the defence and national security organisations working to ensure our safety and prosperity.”
Improbable’s technology platform is already supporting synthetic environments and digital twins for UK government organisations such as the British Army and UK Strategic Command. These virtual worlds bring together a range of technologies – including data, models and analytical tools – in order to simulate real-world scenarios for enhanced training, planning and infrastructure management.
The platform has been engineered to enable collaborations between technology providers and academic institutions, and supports a growing network of partners including Microsoft, Bohemia Interactive Simulations and [CAE / Adarga].
By bringing together the latest research and the most powerful innovations, and then integrating them into a single, secure technology platform that’s accessible at the point of need, the Myridian programme will give users at every level the tools they need to identify issues more quickly, analyse them more effectively, and then develop more coherent, efficient responses.
Improbable’s Chief Scientist, Professor Jordan Giddings, says, “There’s colossal potential for academic institutions and research organisations – not to mention industry players – to contribute to solving some of society’s greatest challenges. The trouble is, government organisations currently lack the commercial and technical infrastructure to fully exploit the latest advances in fields like computational modelling and simulation, data analytics, AI and machine learning. The Myridian programme will facilitate this, focussing research efforts on specific areas that complement the broader initiatives of organisations like Dstl and Defence Digital’s Digital Foundry.”
Nick Malleson, Professor of Spatial Science at Leeds University says, “Academics and researchers are all, at heart, problem solvers. This programme promises to give us – and our colleagues from across different disciplines and institutions – the opportunity to work together on some of the most exciting, difficult and important ones in existence. I know from personal experience of working with Improbable’s researchers on the Royal Society’s pandemic modelling initiative how valuable their expertise can be when it comes to augmenting and accelerating scientific enquiry.”
According to Doyne Farmer, Baillie Gifford Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, “Contemporary society is both more complex and more fragile than ever. But just as technology can be used to undermine our societies, it can also be used to strengthen them – whether that’s against threats to our political processes, critical infrastructure or threats arising from climate change. I’m very much looking forward to continuing our work with Improbable.”
Emma Barrett, Professor of Psychology, Security & Trust at Manchester University, says, “My colleagues and I are excited about the potential to employ Improbable’s technology to further our work on social dynamics and human behaviour. We see significant opportunities to work together to give decision makers a more profound understanding of today’s threats as well as more useful insights into how best to counter them.”
Professor Nick Whiteley, Heilbronn Chair in Data Science at Bristol University, says, “Collaborating with Improbable is a tremendously valuable opportunity for us at the University of Bristol to benefit from their knowledge and expertise in modelling highly complex systems. We’re particularly excited about our ongoing work with Improbable on intractable agent-based models and see very bright prospects for future research together, pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence, data science and machine learning.”
Professor John Parker, Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Durham University, says, “I am very excited at the prospect of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Durham University working with Improbable. I believe there is immense scope for joint endeavours and I would like to give my full support to this partnership.”
The Myridian programme is open to prospective industrial and academic partners with specialist expertise in social dynamics and human behaviour, computational modelling and model composition, distributed simulation performance, agent-based modelling and related fields.
17 June 22. Rohde & Schwarz extends the R&S ZNB vector network analyzer family maximum frequency to 43.5 GHz. The R&S ZNB has already proved to be a reliable partner for both development and production network analysis applications. With features such as ease of operation and a measurement performance which combines outstanding speed and dynamic range with temperature stability, it is a leading instrument in the midrange class. The R&S ZNB26 extended the maximum frequency to 26.5 GHz, now the R&S ZNB43 adds a frequency range of 100 kHz to 43.5 GHz. Rohde & Schwarz will launch this latest model at the IMS2022 (International Microwave Symposium) held in Denver, CO, USA from June 19 to 24, 2022.
The R&S ZNB43 is available as 2 port or 4 port models, with two connector types, either 2.4 mm or 2.92 mm. It also offers optionally an extended power range and a second internal source. The R&S ZNB43 is very suitable for characterization of passive devices such as filters, couplers, and switches. When equipped with the second internal source, it becomes a versatile instrument for measurements of active devices such as mixers and amplifiers.
Higher frequencies, faster clock rates, and more precise specifications all demand more accurate device characterization. In particular for the higher microwave frequencies, de-embedding the test fixture from the device under test is increasingly important. While simple in principle, de-embedding is much more complicated in practice, as the S-parameters for the fixture cannot easily be measured. Only in the past few years have practical de-embedding solutions come to the market. For many Rohde & Schwarz network analyzers including the R&S ZNB family, a range of industry-wide well accepted software tools for de-embedding in line with IEEE 370 are now available as fully integrated options.
With any network analyzer, no matter how well a test setup has been calibrated, there will still be a residual measurement uncertainty which will vary according to settings such as the power level for the current test. Knowing the actual uncertainty under given test conditions is crucial. The R&S ZNB allows users to keep track of measurement uncertainty in real-time, with integrated software options.
The R&S ZNB family also supports inline calibration units which remain connected to the device under test throughout the test period. Inline calibration is essential for tests in a thermal chamber for example on satellites or satellite components. Or in multiport setups with large numbers of ports, where instead of a time-consuming reconnection of DUT cables, recalibration is reduced to just pressing a button on the R&S ZNB.
17 June 22. ANSTO charges ahead with new Lithium technology. Lithium is a key element in the manufacture of Li-Ion batteries for vehicles, among other things. Scientists at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) together with Lithium Australia Limited (LIT) have developed a world-first technology to extract more lithium from lithium mining waste, in a game-changer for the country’s lithium industry.
Demand for lithium has reached record level highs and the amount of metal used has almost quadrupled in the last decade. This demand is being driven by the ever-expanding lithium-ion battery market – the leading technology for portable electronics and electric vehicles. Compared to lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion batteries lose less charge when not in use, and almost all lithium-ion battery components can be recovered and re-used. Australia supplies about 60 per cent of the world’s lithium in the form of a mineral concentrate called spodumene. With an abundance of ‘hard rock’ lithium, Australia is among the countries with the largest lithium deposits globally. The conventional way of extracting lithium from spodumene is in a rotary kiln, which requires very high temperatures (>1000oC) and can only be applied to spodumene of a certain type and size.
This process is highly energy intensive with a great deal of waste. Current techniques only recover between about 50 to 70 per cent of the lithium from the original ore.
Dr Chris Griffith, Senior Process Chemist at ANSTO, explained that not only would the new technology improve the overall extraction, it avoids the energy intensive processing, and increases the sustainability of lithium operations world-wide.
“Until now, it has been quite accepted by industry that a large amount of lithium is ‘lost’ during processing. We’re the first in the world to achieve such an efficient level of extraction,” Dr Griffith said.
“This technology really has huge potential for an industry which is integral to our transition to the electrification of transport, and ultimately to a cleaner and greener future.”
The two organisations have developed a process called LieNA®, which removes the need for high temperature processing and is ideally suited to processing of the waste, and realising the majority of the lithium value from Australia’s hard rock deposits.
Patented by Lithium Australia, the LieNA® technology involves an initial treatment of the waste spodumene with caustic under autoclave conditions to form a synthetic lithium sodalite which can be easily recovered. Lithium is then extracted and purified as lithium phosphate which can be used directly in manufacture of lithium ferro-phosphate batteries.
The new technology enables the majority (>95%) of the lithium value to be realised, with vastly reduced energy inputs compared to conventional processing. Lithium Australia Limited was awarded $1.3 m from the Department of Industry, Science and Technology’s CRC-P Round 8 program in 2020. The overall objective of the program is to progress the development of LieNAÒ to a Feasibility Study level and eventual commercialisation of the LieNAÒ technology.
Stuart Tarrant, Chief Financial Officer at Lithium Australia, said, “Upcoming ESG regulations are forcing the industry to consider ways to improve recoveries and shorten supply chains. If commercialised, LieNA® has the potential to achieve both and as an outcome we have experienced higher interest from lithium concentrate producers.”
“The possibilities here are tremendous – some estimates are that the global lithium-ion battery market size will grow from US$41.1 bn in 2021 to US$116.6 bn by 2030,” Dr Griffith said. “Innovation like this puts Australia in a good position to move away from simply supplying a mineral concentrate to overseas converters as quickly as possible.
“It provides another avenue for Australia to maximise the value from our valuable critical and energy mineral resources and allows us to conduct more value-adding downstream processing here in Australia.” (Source: Rumour Control)
13 June 22. Thales launches VisioLoc® geolocalisation system for soldiers engaged in high-intensity combat.
- VisioLoc® enables land forces to generate precise geolocation coordinates in any environment, even when no satellite signal is available.
- The new function is used with the Sophie Optima and Sophie Ultima hand-held thermal imagers to provide tactical and special forces units with a unique combat capability in hostile environments while optimising the size of the equipment used and reducing the weight burden on the soldier.
- Used in conjunction with the collaborative, cybersecure capabilities of the Sophie Optima and Sophie Ultima thermal imagers, the VisioLoc® function ushers in a new era of portable soldier optronics for high-intensity collaborative combat.
The ability to accelerate the OODA loop (Observe – Orient – Decide – Act) is a decisive factor in achieving operational superiority in high-intensity combat. Thales is launching VisioLoc® to improve the effectiveness of the augmented soldier without adding to the cognitive and physical burden on the warfighter. The new functionality for the Sophie family of multi-function thermal imagers provides a high-performance geolocation capability and generates precise target coordinates even when no GNSS1 signal is available.
05:48 hrs: dawn is just starting to break and the first rays of sunlight will soon dispel the darkness of the theatre of operations, a non-permissive environment where a soldier has been working for hours to counter the enemy’s efforts to jam the section’s systems. Suddenly, the section leader spots an enemy tank taking up position in the distance. There is no time to lose. Urgent action is required. Using the Sophie Optima thermal imager and the VisioLoc® function, the section leader makes a positive ID on the target, and in a few simple steps determines its precise coordinates, without having access to a GNSS signal, and calls in fire support. The geolocation coordinates are so precise that an artillery unit can process the information directly and engage the target straight away to provide critical fire support for the front-line unit.
VisioLoc® is a disruptive innovation in the soldier optronics market. Its ability to generate high-precision geolocation coordinates dispenses with the need for fire adjustment procedures, which can currently take up to 20 minutes. Once the section leader has called in fire support, the VisioLoc® function reduces the time it takes for an artillery unit to engage the target by a factor of three or even four. In a high-intensity combat situation, the time savings can be crucial to force protection and effective action against the enemy.
VisioLoc® provides leaders of special forces units and sections or platoons deployed in forward positions with a high-precision, jam-resistant geolocation function with an equipment weighing less than 3 kg. VisioLoc® can be set up simply (on a tripod or hand-held) in under four minutes and offers an unprecedented level of performance in terms of reliability, precision and readiness for action.
The VisioLoc® function upgrades and modernises the capabilities of front-line units and represents a step change in tactical operations by land forces. With Visioloc®, the portable optronics equipment used by tactical commanders is fully capable of responding to the new paradigm of high-intensity combat.
“With the VisioLoc® function, Thales is able to provide land forces with a unique combat capability in non-permissive environments and the ability to dramatically accelerate the OODA loop. With VisioLoc®, the portable optronics equipment used by tactical commanders is fully capable of responding to the new paradigm of high-intensity combat.” Benoit Plantier, Vice President, Optronics and Missile Electronics, Thales.
13 June 22. Getac’s X600 rugged mobile workstation sets a new benchmark for performance, expandability and reliability in a single powerful solution.
- Getac announces new 15.6” inch fully rugged mobile workstation, designed to deliver comprehensive mobile command computing, control and planning workflows across a diverse range of operational environments
- The new X600 provides a major leap in computing power, with the options of the 11th gen Intel® Core™ H-series processor (up to i9) and 128GB of memory, alongside NVIDIA® Quadro® RTX3000 discrete graphics controller
- Both X600 and X600 Pro models combine extensive battery and storage expandability with compact design and light weight, setting a new benchmark for rugged solutions
Getac has today announced the launch of its X600 and X600 Pro, two powerful new 15.6” fully rugged mobile workstations for professionals needing both optimal performance and exceptional reliability when conducting complex operations in the field.
The X600 runs the latest Windows 11 Pro and features an 11th gen Intel® Core™ H-series processor (i5/i7/i9) with integrated Intel® UHD Graphics. The result is exceptional performance in a diverse range of data and/or graphically-intensive operational scenarios, such as defence command and control, railway track inspection, and oil & gas sensor analysis. An optional NVIDIA® Quadro® RTX3000 discrete graphics controller can elevate the graphical performance to even higher standards if required, while capacity for up 128GB of memory ensures lightning-fast processing speeds.
The X600 boasts exceptional expandability to match modern data demands, supporting three PCIe SSDs for up to 6TB internal storage. The X600 Pro takes this expandability further still, featuring dual hot-swappable batteries, alongside capacity for two additional media bay batteries, which together deliver more than 240Wh in a single device. The X600 Pro also includes PCMCIA and Express card slots and DVD super drive/optional Blu-ray drive support, for even greater capability both in and out of the field.
Powerful connectivity and security
Professionals working in the field, such as those taking part in defence operations, must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, access information, gather intelligence and make critical decisions, regardless of their location. Designed with these needs in mind, the X600 features a diverse array of industry-leading connectivity options, including dual 2.5GBASE-T Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth v5.2, optional dedicated GPS, and optional 4G LTE with integrated GPS. The device also includes multiple I/O interfaces, such as Thunderbolt™4, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, and serial port.
The X600 includes the latest physical security and data security features as well. Self-encrypting drives, smart card reader, TPM 2.0, Intel® vPro™ technology, optional Windows Hello face-authentication, and optional fingerprint reader keep sensitive data safe, while a built-in Kensington lock slot can be used to protect the device against theft.
Highly versatile and mobile
The X600 boasts a large 15.6” FHD display with optional capacitive 10-point touch, meaning it can be operated when cold, wet, or even while wearing gloves. Getac’s proprietary LumiBond® screen technology also delivers superb colour, contrast, and brightness (1,000 nits) making it easily readable, even in direct sunlight.
Weighing less than 5kg/10lbs, the X600 is also incredibly light for such a powerful device, while its compact form factor and dual hot-swappable batteries make it ideally suited to extended use in the field. Furthermore, legacy device support means customers can use the X600 in conjunction with a wide array of their existing peripherals, right out of the box.
Fully rugged reliability
Like all Getac devices, the X600 is built rugged from the ground up to withstand physical impacts, harsh temperatures, moisture, and dust, assuring the highest levels of performance and reliability during field operations. Rugged features include IP66-rated ingress protection, MIL-STD-810H, MIL-STD-461G and optional CID2 (ANSI/UL 12.12.91) certification, vibration and 4ft (1.2m) drop resistance, as well as optional salt fog-resistance.
“With the launch of the X600 rugged mobile workstation, Getac is once again raising the bar for the rugged mobile computing industry, delivering desktop-level performance and exceptional reliability in a single, complete package,” says Paul Waddilove, Managing Director, UK & Nordics at Getac. “Just like the award-winning B360, the X600 has been inspired by our customers and our commitment to helping them meet their growing need for powerful yet portable field operations solutions that can handle tasks of enormous complexity.”
The X600 and X600 Pro will be available in October 2022.
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.