• A simulated IED attack on an exercise at Shoalwater Bay.
    A simulated IED attack on an exercise at Shoalwater Bay. Defence

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to open a competition to develop and demonstrate a number of novel technologies and techniques in the area of electronic countermeasures against improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

IEDs are normally initiated using trigger mechanisms adapted from products including radio-controlled toys or civilian communication networks. The Defence and Security Accelerator competition aims to build technologies that can disrupt these mechanisms.

“These radio links that use RF, and associated components, are considered the primary objective for this call,” the MoD said. “Other initiation methods could include command wires, timers and victim-operated mechanisms; if these initiation methods can be mitigated through the use of the RF techniques they will also be considered.”

The competition focuses on three challenge areas: capturing and analysing RF signals using novel spectrum survey techniques; neutralising targets; and new or novel hardware and components.

“ECM systems need to counter an ever-growing range of electromagnetic technologies operating across the RF spectrum, using an ever growing and diverse range of signalling schemes,” the MoD said. “Proposals need to be considerate of the cognitive, physical and, training burden that will be placed on the bearer (vehicle and service person) by any proposed solution.

“This call is looking to generate novel technologies and techniques that can rapidly be developed to deliver life-saving protection against IEDs, while being adaptable to evolving technologies and able to operate in an increasingly congested electromagnetic spectrum.”

Phase 1 of the competition (proof of concept demonstrations) will provide £150,000 in funding for nine months to 10 projects. New applicants will be eligible to compete for later stages.

More information is available here.

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