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23 June 22. Dstl launches Defence Data Research Centre. The dedicated centre of excellence will focus on problems related to the use of data for artificial intelligence applications, with a defence context.
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has announced the formation of the Defence Data Research Centre (DDRC) as part of the newly released Defence AI Strategy and the newly-established Defence AI Centre.
Awarded through competition and operating under the Serapis framework, the DDRC comprises a consortium led by the University of Exeter, supported by the Universities of Liverpool and Surrey and the Digital Catapult.
The Centre will focus on problems related to the use of data for artificial intelligence (AI) applications, which can often be inaccessible or unusable its raw state; up to 80% of time can be spent in getting data in a state where it can be used, and some projects never start at all due insurmountable data issues.
The principal task will be investigating problems within a defence context, such as logistics support, object tracking and data wranging among many other potential areas, with the expectation that any solutions and mitigations developed by the Centre could be applied elsewhere to benefit the wider UK economy.
The establishment of the Centre is expected to result in the creation of at least 5 to 8 new academic posts starting from September 2022, with the potential to grow further.
Glen Hart, Senior Principal Scientist from Dstl, commented:
The DDRC will be a centre of excellence which links academic expertise from the South West, South East and North West with the defence insight of Dstl. This is the first centre dedicated to data research and experimentation within defence which will play a key role in future defence innovation. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
21 June 22. Orolia Introduces New mRO-50 Ruggedized, a Robust Low SWaP-C Mini-Rubidium Oscillator. Latest Atomic Clock Designed for Commercial, Military and Aerospace Operations; Launch Webinar Scheduled July 7. Orolia, the world leader in resilient positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) solutions and space-based atomic clocks, has introduced an upgraded edition of its low SWaP-C miniaturized rubidium oscillator product line, the mRO-50 Ruggedized, to meet the latest military and aerospace requirements where time stability and power consumption are critical.
“Our dedication and innovative design have contributed to the most accurate GNSS systems in service today,” Chen said.
Orolia’s new mRO-50 Ruggedized miniaturized rubidium oscillator provides accurate frequency and precise time synchronization to mobile applications, such as military radio-pack systems in GNSS-degraded or denied environments.
The mRO-50 Ruggedized provides a one-day holdover below 1µs and a retrace below 1E-10 in a form factor (50.8 x 50.8 x 20mm) that takes up only 51 cc of volume (about one-third of the volume compared to standard rubidiums) and consumes only 0.36W of power, which is about ten times less than existing solutions with similar capabilities.
With these competitive advantages, the new mRO-50 Ruggedized miniaturized rubidium oscillator provides accurate frequency and precise time synchronization to mobile applications, such as military radio-pack systems in GNSS-degraded or denied environments. Its wide-range operating temperature of -40°C to 80°C is also ideal for various range of applications such as underwater, military communications, radars, low earth orbit, electronic warfare, airborne and unmanned vehicles.
“Our dedication and innovative design have contributed to the most accurate GNSS systems in service today,” said Orolia’s Atomic Clocks Product Line Director, Jean-Charles Chen. “Orolia launched the mRO-50 in 2020, bringing the best rubidium technologies into one small form factor and ultra-portable packaging.”
The mRO-50 Ruggedized enhances this breakthrough technology with modifications providing wider thermal range, quicker lock and higher stability. For in-depth mRO-50 Ruggedized product details, applications and technical information, please register for Orolia’s Launch Webinar on July 7. Click here to register.
Orolia’s proven timing solutions support several space agencies and research institutes worldwide, including the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA, Jet Propulsion Labs, Space-X, Blue Origin, the Centre National d’Étude Spatiales (CNES France), the National Physics Laboratory (NPL UK), Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR Germany) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), among others.
The ESA awarded Orolia two contracts to provide atomic clocks for the first 12 satellites for the Galileo Second Generation System (G2S). Each of the new G2S satellites (designed to provide unprecedented accuracy worldwide) will contain three Orolia Rubidium Atomic Frequency Standards (RAFS) and two Orolia atomic clock physics packages integrated with Leonardo’s Passive Hydrogen Masers (PHM).
Orolia is the world leader in Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) solutions that improve the reliability, performance and safety of critical, remote or high-risk operations, even in GPS/GNSS denied environments. Orolia provides virtually fail-safe GNSS and PNT solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. www.orolia.com (Source: PR Newswire)
22 June 22. First helicopter flight powered solely by sustainable aviation fuel. An Airbus H225 has performed the first ever helicopter flight with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) powering both Safran’s Makila 2 engines.
This flight, which follows the flight of an H225 with one SAF-powered Makila 2 engine in November 2021, is part of the flight campaign aimed at understanding the impact of SAF use on the helicopter’s systems. Tests are expected to continue on other types of helicopters with different fuel and engine architectures with a view to certify the use of 100% SAF by 2030.
“This flight with SAF powering the twin engines of the H225 is an important milestone for the helicopter industry. It marks a new stage in our journey to certify the use of 100% SAF in our helicopters, a fact that would mean a reduction of up to 90% in CO2 emissions alone,” said Stefan Thome, Executive Vice President, Engineering and Chief Technical Officer, Airbus Helicopters.
The use of SAF is one of Airbus Helicopters’ levers to achieve its ambition of reducing CO2 emissions from its helicopters by 50% by 2030. One of the main benefits of using this new fuel is that it allows the aircraft to minimise its carbon footprint while maintaining the same flight performance.
According to the Waypoint 2050 report, the use of SAF in aviation could account for 50-75% of the CO2 reduction needed to reach net carbon emissions by 2050 in the air transport industry. While SAF production currently accounts for only 0.1% of total aviation fuel production, this figure is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years to meet both growing demand from operators and upcoming SAF usage mandates.
In June 2021, Airbus Helicopters launched the SAF User Group with the intention of bringing all stakeholders together to work on ways to accelerate the use of blended SAF kerosene and to pave the way toward 100% SAF flights for future fleets. All Airbus commercial aircraft and helicopters are certified to fly with up to a 50% blend of SAF. Our goal is to achieve certification of 100% SAF by 2030 for Airbus commercial aircraft and helicopters.
21 June 22. Mercury Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY, www.mrcy.com), a leader in trusted, secure mission-critical technologies for aerospace and defense, announced it was selected by Ball Aerospace to enhance the data recording and storage performance for MethaneSAT, the methane monitoring satellite being developed by a subsidiary of the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund. With MethaneSAT, nations and companies will be able to identify, manage and reduce methane emissions and help slow the rate at which the Earth is warming. Mercury’s data storage technology delivers the high performance and sustainability required to operate successfully in space’s harsh, radiation-intense environment. Ball’s MethaneSAT spectrometer will incorporate Mercury’s RH3440 3U VPX high-density solid-state data recorder (SSDR), allowing the state-of-the-art satellite to gather critical data needed to solve environmental sustainability issues. The digital recorder is optimized for size, weight and power (SWaP) and is radiation tolerant – crucial for a successful space mission. Moreover, since data will be generated at a rate much higher than can be telemetered, Mercury’s “store-and-forward” features allow delayed data transmission to ground stations while maintaining data integrity until the data can be transmitted.
21 June 22. A400M: Airbus supports German Air Force transformation to sustainable aviation fuel. Airbus is supporting the German Air Force in their long-term transformation to increase sustainability of its aircraft fleet. Airbus is working with the German Air Force towards providing the Luftwaffe with a technical allowance to commence national A400M flight trials with loads of up to 50 percent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in the near-term. SAF is a proven alternative fuel that can reduce life cycle CO2 emissions by up to 85 percent compared to conventional fuel. By that, Germany, which has a total of 53 units on order, is becoming the first customer nation to launch a gradual transformation to SAF for their operational A400M fleet.
“The Luftwaffe’s objective is to launch a transformation towards sustainability of their fleet. Their mission is ours. We are gladly supporting these important efforts, not only for the A400M but their entire fleet of Airbus aircraft, ranging from VIP transport to fighter jets,” said Mike Schoellhorn, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space.
“Moving towards a more sustainable future is the fundamental duty of everybody. Switching from petroleum-based kerosene to sustainable fuels plays a big part in aviation’s efforts to cut CO2 emissions. Our government aircraft are already cleared for SAF. Working closely with the industry we are eager to finally certify the A400M as well. Looking into the future we are supporting all activities to introduce SAF for our entire fleet including fast jet aircraft”, said Lt.Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, Chief of the German Air Force.
Besides supporting national customer activities, Airbus has embarked on a long-term roadmap towards achieving 100 percent SAF readiness and certification for the A400M.
As a first step, in 2022, Airbus plans a test flight of an A400M aircraft with a fuel load of up to 50 percent SAF. This initial test flight will be conducted with one engine to better assess the aircraft’s overall behaviour. Upon successful completion of this one-engine flight, Airbus is expecting to continue with four engine trials in 2023.
Once testing activities are completed on the basis of four engines, the A400M platform will formally be allowed for customers with access to 50 percent SAF.
Furthermore, Airbus, OCCAR and the A400M Nations are engaged in initial discussions to develop the roadmap towards the certification and operational use of 100 percent SAF.
This is clearly something that will not happen overnight. This type of fuel first needs to be assessed technically by the engine manufacturer before we can commence with flight tests to certify the TP 400M engines for 100 percent SAF. Today, this type of fuel is not yet fully standardised nor tested. We are in the preliminary stages for an initial feasibility check”, said Schoellhorn. “This engine-level plan would be integrated with the required flight test activities at Airbus level for final A400M certification.”
Earlier in 2022, Airbus Defence and Space performed the first flight of its C295 Flight Test Bed, a Research & Development project of the European Clean Sky 2, which aims at the use of new technologies and materials to achieve noise, CO2 and NOx reductions. With the C295, Airbus also aims to conduct a test campaign for flights with 50 percent SAF in 2022 and 100 percent SAF in 2023.
For more information about SAF, please visit our website.
Visit our ILA Air Show event page to stay updated on Airbus’ presence at ILA Berlin 2022.
17 June 22. Elma Releases NVIDIA-based board for Advanced AI Computing Solutions. Board is the first available on 3U CPCI Serial open standards-based form factor.
- NVIDIA® Jetson AGX Xavier™ with 512 CUDA cores and 64 Tensor cores
- Powerful, cost-effective in developing pattern recognition, environment recognition or situation analysis applications
- Provides integrated deep learning capabilities and rich I/O
- 3U CompactPCI (CPCI) Serial architecture for easy integration with boards from a multi-vendor ecosystem
- Showcased at embedded world in booth 1-555
Elma Electronic now offers an embedded single board computing (SBC) engine leveraging the integrated deep learning capabilities and rich I/O of the NVIDIA® Jetson AGX Xavier™. The 3U CPCI Serial-based JetKit-3010 delivers artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled video inspection, analysis, object detection and recognition capabilities to system developers building advanced technologies to develop, test and manufacture smarter and more reliable systems in markets such as automotive, agriculture or industrial automation.
Holger Heidenblut, Business Development Manager, of Elma, noted, “Our new JetKit-3010 contributes a game-changing compute engine to applications converging in AI and advanced graphics, like object detection and inspection, intelligent video analytics, robotics, and autonomous driving. And because it’s CompactPCI Serial, it can be integrated with a range of boards available from a multi-vendor ecosystem to enable system platforms tailored to the specific design requirements.”
Prior to the open standards-based JetKit-3010, research and development with AI components required extremely powerful and specialized hardware, much of which is purpose-built and expensive.The unique combination of the NVIDIA module in a CompactPCI Serial architecture is a powerful, yet cost-effective, method to develop applications requiring pattern recognition, environment recognition or situation analysis.
Elma Electronic’s JetKit-3010 combines the flexibility of an 8-core ARM processor with the compute performance of 512 NVIDIA CUDA cores and 64 Tensor cores to provide compute density, energy efficiency and AI inferencing capabilities that are a quantum jump in intelligent machine processing.
The JetKit-3010 can be packaged as a standalone small form factor platform or integrated as a multi-function SBC in an existing CPCI system platform. It provides a rich set of features, including I/O available via the front panel or backplane: M.2 NVME, HDMI, 4x USB, 2x Gigabit Ethernet and x8 PCIe ports.
The display controller supports high resolution imaging 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz (up to 36 bpp) via HDMI, and multi-stream HD video and JPEG support for most encode and decode video standards. A dedicated programmable ARM Cortex A9 audio processor provides a multi-channel, high-definition audio (HDA) path via the HDMI interface.
The JetKit-3010 will be showcased in the Elma Electronic booth 1-555 at embedded world, June 21-23 in Nuremberg, Germany. For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/nr-jetkit or contact your local Elma office via our global contact form.
17 June 22. US Army Invites Innovators to Enter 7th Dragon’s Lair. For the first time ever, the XVIII Airborne Corps will partner with Army Futures Command to co-host the seventh installment of the innovative series Dragon’s Lair. This next edition of the “Shark Tank”-style competition will take place August 16 in Austin, Texas.
In August 2020, the XVIII Airborne Corps, known as America’s Contingency Corps, developed Dragon’s Lair as a way to give soldiers of any rank across the corps a platform to convey their innovative ideas and concepts to civilian technical experts and senior military leaders. This new partnership with AFC will now bring ideas to the forefront of the Army’s premier institution, which is charged with modernizing the Army and its future readiness at a faster rate.
After five successful iterations of the program, the XVIII Airborne Corps realized that Dragon’s Lair could go beyond the Army’s reach and decided to open it up to all military service members across the Defense Department to seek more innovators and diversity of ideas across the joint force.
The partnership with AFC brings an opportunity to unlock new ideas for the advancement of the U.S. military. In the past, Dragon’s Lair has taken the previously unsought ideas of a cooling apparatus for body armor, an algorithm to predict a building’s layout, an app for the exceptional family member program, and an armored vehicle safety system, and it has elevated them to the next level for the betterment service members.
DOD service members can submit their innovative ideas on the Dragon Innovation website. Users must create an account, which does not require a Common Access Card and is available from civilian systems. All concepts must have a description of the innovation and the problem being addressed. Ideas must be submitted to the site by July 24, 2022, to be eligible for consideration for Dragon’s Lair 7. (Source: US DoD)
18 June 22. DE&S hosts coders for Robot Dog Olympics. Teams of expert coders used their skills to discover what capabilities state-of-the-art robotic dogs could offer the British Army. Almost 40 coders from across industry and defence assembled at MOD Abbey Wood in Bristol to take part in a unique Robot Dog Olympics.
Teams worked with SPOT robotic dogs which are designed to autonomously perform non-offensive tasks to protect troops by searching/scanning or delivering medicine/food into hazardous/disaster areas.
Tasks coders were challenged to programme the dogs to do included a 50-metre sprint; a gymnastics routine and problem solving.
Natasha Dell, an algorithm engineer from Thales, said: “I have been really surprised by how agile and responsive the robotic dogs are. They are incredibly mobile and the speed at which they move is impressive as well as the tasks they can complete.”
The event was run by the Future Capabilities Group (FCG) at DE&S in conjunction with Team Defence Information, a body that helps develop innovative solutions for the front line.
Suzy Harris, Head of Expeditionary Robotics for FCG, said: “Robotics and autonomous systems are becoming increasingly important in allowing soldiers to operate faster, for longer and enabling them to step back from some of the most challenging and dangerous tasks.”
Colonel Dan Anders-Brown, customer lead at DE&S, said: “The coders have confirmed what we already knew. These are highly capable systems and could significantly reduce risk to life of our soldiers by removing the requirement to carry out dangerous activity in the modern battlespace.”
SPOT is manufactured by Boston Dynamics which has a well-publicised ethics policy on the use of their systems in any offensive manner. Marlborough Communications Ltd (MCL) acquire the platforms on behalf of MOD and provide through life support and training.
A spokesperson for MCL said: “Marlborough Communications Ltd are delighted to support DE&S in its drive to exploit innovation through technology, within the Robotic and Autonomous domain.” (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
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.