London’s historic dockland area dates back to the 16th century, but these days it’s the new financial center of the city. And smack bang in the middle of it is the Excel exhibition centre, home to the Defense Security and Equipment International (DSEI) show.
During DSEI, Excel plays host to around 1500 exhibitors. Docks surrounding the centre feature visiting warships from as far away as South Korea. It becomes quite a sight having these naval giants moored right next to the exhibition halls.
Lots of huge hardware was on display, hailing from over 50 different countries. My goal was to look for some of the most interesting electronic innovations that formed the heart of defense and security systems.
Defending Vehicles Against Explosive Attack
What first caught my eye was something that could potentially save many lives—a system designed to jam remote-controlled explosive devices used in attacks against vehicles. Manufactured by Elbit Systems, it joins a family of jammers already in operational use by the Israeli Defense Force. The “Miniature Reactive Jammer” (MRJ) is designed for a rangeof missions, such as border security, personal security, incursions into hostile areas, and protection of vehicle convoys.
Though many systems on the market are active (operate continuously), the MRJ is a reactive system. It analyzes intercepted signals and jams potential threats more efficiently and cost-effectively by concentrating the jamming energy on a particular indentified frequency range.
The lightweight, modular MRJ can be installed in any available space onboard the vehicle, while the operator uses a remote command and control panel that provides alerts and fault indicators. In addition, the system enables efficient selection of the frequency ranges for each operation (ranges of 25 to 6000 MHz), effectively covering every potential threat.
Eyeballing The Enemy
Making my way through the tanks and armored vehicle exhibits, I eventually arrived at the enormous Thales exhibition booth. This company was showing a new lightweight multifunction surveillance and target locator system called “SOPHIE Lite.” The 1.6-kg system features an integrated suite of sensors, including an un-cooled thermal imager, TV/Near Infra-Red (NIR) sensor, high-performance eye-safe laser rangefinder, digital compass, and GPS.
Operational roles for SOPHIE Lite include force protection, forward observation, forward air control, covert surveillance, asset protection, and homeland security.
Electronic-System Safety On The Seas
My next assignment was a cabinet meeting, but not of the governmental type. On display at Pentair’s booth was a new range of cabinets that suit tough military environments.
The company developed a ruggedized version of its Schroff VARISTAR cabinet platform. Enhanced vibration resistance protects sensitive electronic systems during demanding sea-faring operating conditions. Suitable for use on frigates, aircraft carriers, and submarines, the VARISTAR cabinet has been independently tested in accordance to the MIL-STD-901D standard.
The basis of the VARISTAR MIL 901D model is the Seismic/EMC frame. Four shock absorbers are fitted to the welded base plate and two more are positioned at the top to the rear of the cabinet. The rear panel is divided into three parts: a robust plate on top where the shock absorbers are mounted; a standard rear panel in the center; and a stainless-steel connecting plate at the bottom for cable ducting.
The cabinet features EMC protection (60 dB at 1 GHz, 40 dB at 3 GHz) and IP protection (IP 55). The frame and all cladding parts are galvanized and powder-coated (RAL 7032) to protect them against corrosion (salt air). In addition to the MIL-STD-901D shock test, Pentair also will perform (on request) a vibration resistance test to the MIL-STD-167 standard with the customer’s electronic systems mounted in the cabinet.
Making The Right Connection
Connectors and sockets may be considered a humble area of electronics when it comes to military systems. Nonetheless, those that can cope with harsh environments are essential in military applications.
The TTi booth exhibited its connectors and socket kits that comply to the M24308 defense connector standard, which are available from its European connector assembly facility near Munich. The M24308 connector, sometimes called MIL-DTL-24308 and formerly known as MIL-C-24308 and MIL-PRF-24308, is a version of D-subminiature connectors.
M24308 connectors come in many different styles and formats with a variety of options in terms of mounting (rigid or standard), contacts (crimp, pin and socket, solder, or insulation displacement), and type (non-environmental, polarized shell, miniature, rack, and panel). They’re operating temperature ranges from −55 to +125°C.
The company also told me that its European connector assembly service has significantly increased in both scale and scope. The facility at TTI’s European Distribution Centre in Gerlinden, Germany, which more than doubled in size, now produces seven different connector styles and variants, with new ranges planned for later this year.
High-Flying Clock Oscillators Screened To 100krad
Precision Devices opted for the DSEI exhibition to launch its flatpack Series XO clock oscillators. The devices use a premium swept quartz crystal in a 4-point mount blank. They’re screened to 100 krad total ionized dose (TID), which means they can handle the radiation endured in space. The parts were tested in a proton beam of 64 MeV in steps of 25 krad until the TID reached100 krad.
Designed for low to mid-orbit applications as standard (other applications available on request), the oscillators are available in a frequency range from 750 kHz to 800 MHz. Frequency stability drops to as low as 25ppm. Four output options include CMOS, LVDS, LVCMOS and LVPECL.
Ambient operating temperature ranges from −40 to +85°C; storage temperature ranges from −65 to +150°C. They oscillators are manufactured in PDI’s own MIL-PRF-38534 and MIL-PRF-55310/QPL certified manufacturing facility.
Over at the Curtiss-Wright booth was the new Rugged LCD Video Display for Airborne Surveillance. The rugged 20-inch LCD display, called “Skyquest AVDU5008-EP,” enhances the earlier-generation AVDU5008 by adding an Intel Core i7-based embedded processor. According to the company, this modification reduces cost.
An integral PC eliminates the need for a standalone processing subsystem. In addition, the 1366-by-768 resolution display features a long-life, glove-operable touchscreen to simplify control of programs driven by the embedded PC. It can be integrated into Curtiss-Wright’s Skyquest Video Management System.
The display’s dual-backlight design supports sunlight readability and compatibility with night-vision goggles. It can be integrated into an aircraft’s lighting bus to provide remote-control brightness of bezel-mounted keys and LEDs.
All Skyquest displays provide support for external video input and split-screen capability. As a result, mission crew members can simultaneously view both the application output and the video received from an HD-SDI source.
On a final note, I would certainly consider buying Kigre Solid State Laser Components from this person.