The brief

As recognised experts in the areas of RF systems, communications technology and image processing, Plextek secured a multi-year contract from UK MoD to survey the state of the art in some specific video camera and wireless communications technology areas and to propose solutions to a number of operational problems.

The Approach

Plextek operated as a Customer Friend to UK MoD. The study required Plextek to obtain and analyse confidential information from the main equipment suppliers. As a company with expertise in the technology but not a competing vendor of equipment in this area, Plextek’s independence was an enabler in gaining trust and productive cooperation from the vendors. Following assistance in development of the technical specification, Plextek acted as technical advisor to DE&S during the development and manufacturing phase being undertaken by a UK prime.

The Impacts

Technology Watch: Plextek performed a study for UK MoD into the potential performance of various antenna and receiver types and architectures against a defined set of electronic surveillance parameters. The study was broken down into three areas covering antenna parameters; fixed and steerable performances for probability of intercept and sensitivity; and analogue wideband phased array antennas versus fast electronic scanned array antennas.
Subject Matter Experts: Plextek recently undertook a series of tasks to progress and de-risk key technology areas identified within a Sonobuoy Miniaturisation programme, namely, a low-SWaP, 3-axis miniature compass; contactless programming; quantifying transmitter efficiency at low data rates; and transmitter power efficiency enhancement. We have been working with Ultra Electronics on the implementation of Sonobuoy surface unit transmitter and receiver boards since 1996, and have jointly developed the surface unit boards used in the entire current product range.

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