Defence

Electronics has always been an important element of the defence sector, enabling communications, intelligence gathering and navigation. But the market differs from many others in its reliability requirements and the need to support products for extended periods. This means companies involved in the sector, as well as those looking to enter the defence supply chain, need to keep up to date.

New Electronics covers developments in the defence sector, bringing technology updates and opinion from the market.

The NPL is looking to prove that measurement matters

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) was established in 1900 with the aim of bringing ‘scientific knowledge to bear practically upon our everyday industrial and commercial life’ and, over the past 117 years, it has established itself as a world class centre of excellence in measurement science. Not only that it has maintained the nation’s primary standards of measurement while developing and contributing to a host of innovations and technologies, from radar to atomic clocks.

As security becomes an important part of the design process, what are the issues?

A report published earlier in 2017 by consumer body Which? reinforced the perception that companies designing products for the Internet of Things don’t take security seriously enough. In what it called a ‘snapshot’ investigation, it set up a network featuring such smart gadgets as wireless cameras, smart padlocks and children’s toys, then hired a team of ethical security researchers to hack it. While some of the devices proved harder to hack than others, eight of the 15 appliances on the network had at least one security flaw.

Research excellence

Set up in 1956 Roke Manor Research has over the past 60 years established itself as a world-class electronics engineering consultancy.

Smaller, lighter and faster

Emerging technologies, whether that’s artificial intelligence, the use of big data analytics, or smart wearable devices and drones, are being appropriated by the world’s military in order to improve the effectiveness and capabilities of their armed forces.

Ensuring soldier welfare

From rifles that can track targets to providing battlefield monitoring via augmented reality, the military is seriously engaging with wearable technology to help improve its capabilities.

Data driven defence

The defence industry is facing stagnating or tightening budgets in many of its traditional key markets while, at the same time, having to adapt to changing security threats and embracing new technologies.

A different approach to Big Data

In June 2013, Sir Mark Walport and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, co chairs of the Council for Science and Technology, sent a letter to then Prime Minister David Cameron entitled ‘The Age of Algorithms’. The letter contained eight recommendations, the sixth of which was the establishment of a National Centre to promote advanced research and translational work in algorithms and the application of data science. “This could fittingly be named the ‘Alan Turing Centre’,” they noted.

Industry associations' take on the Industrial Strategy White Paper

Despite the UK economy’s reliance on the financial and services sectors over the recent past, there remains an understanding that the development of technology has – and will continue to have – an important role to play. And if that technology can be translated into the creation of thriving companies, then all the better.

Academia expresses post Brexit concerns

Since the announcement in the Queen’s Speech to Parliament in May 2015 that a referendum would be held on the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union (EU), there have been considerable expressions of concern about the potential effect of a withdrawal on the country’s research and development efforts.

Changes in the test and measurement market

With enormous change in the types of product coming to market and the way in which they are being designed, it is obvious that those companies that deliver test and measurement equipment are also having to adapt.

mmWave sensors up their game

A revolution is unfolding amongst manufacturing companies, with an increasing number investing in smart factory technology – intelligent machines, devices and measurement and testing equipment – to monitor every critical parameter of the manufacturing process.

Oscilloscope manufacturers are looking to supply more intelligent probes as engineers seek greater measurement accuracy

Connecting a probe to a device under test can prove to be a time consuming activity, especially in the case of the increasingly complex devices that are now entering the market. While the ideal probe should offer ease of connection, convenience, absolute signal fidelity, zero signal source loading and complete noise immunity, there is currently no ideal probe size or configuration.

Revolutionising networking technology

The networking world has largely been defined by the development of fixed function chips. While these devices have been one of the means by which data rates have increased, this has been achieved at the expense of configurability.

How small diameter electrolytic capacitors in power supplies can impact reliability and cost

Recently a member of TDK-Lambda’s technical marketing team experienced first-hand just how much influence small diameter electrolytic capacitors can have on long-term power supply reliability. Unfortunately he picked February to have his central heating system upgraded and Britain’s unpredictable weather system delivered snow. The seven year old boiler system in the loft had been turned off for two days while the radiators were replaced. When the installation was complete, the boiler was switched on, but failed to start

UK universities getting better at commercialising research

The relationship between universities and new technology start-ups is crucial and the UK has been relatively poor at the commercialisation of ideas, let alone commercial success. Should it be about the jobs that are created or should the financial returns from technological innovation be the sole driver of whether university research is worthwhile?

Code injection: a common vulnerability

As the Internet of Things develops, embedded devices are being deployed in environments where attackers can take advantage of source code level security vulnerabilities. Embedded software developers should, therefore, understand the different kinds of security vulnerabilities – and code injection in particular.

Technology to improve firefighter safety

Building fires are, by their very nature, inhospitable environments. The combination of heat, a potentially toxic atmosphere, poor visibility and an unstable building can have fatal consequences, so it’s no surprise to find out that technology is being brought to bear in an attempt to improve safety, particularly when it comes to communication with and location of firefighters committed to a building.

Security risks in the connected world

To say the Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay may be the understatement of the decade. We are all knee-deep in the IoT and there is no turning back – gone are the days of thinking connecting refrigerators, security systems and vending machines to the Internet is in a land far, far away.

Focusing light on industry’s problems

One of the longest established such centres in the UK, the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde is working in optogenetics and neurophotonics, as well as more traditional areas such as solid state lasers.

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