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Allen-Vanguard MoD Funding for IED Defeat Technologies

Remote Radio Head (RRH) Preliminary Concept [Allen Vanguard press release image]

Allen-Vanguard secures UK MoD funding to develop novel technologies to enhance the defeat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

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Press Release, Tewkesbury, 04 May 2023: Allen-Vanguard, a global leader in providing customised solutions for defeating Radio Frequency (RF) based terrorist and extremist threats, has recently secured MoD funding from a focussed call for innovation proposals administered by the Defence & Security Accelerator (DASA). The funding is to develop novel technologies and techniques to counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs), addressing specifically Challenge 3 – “new or novel hardware and ancillaries”.

Allen-Vanguard have been at the forefront of developing advanced technology to counter RF based terrorist and extremist threats globally and have been developing the concept of Remote Radio Heads (RRH) to maximise the efficiency, and hence increase the inhibition range, delivered by their electronic counter measure (ECM) systems, whilst minimising their size, weight and power consumption (SWaP). The funding will lead to the development of a RRH demonstrator to de-risk several key areas associated with its development and use in the Land based Cyber Electromagnetic environment. There are multiple technical challenges to be overcome, especially concerning thermal management (when reducing size and weight) and specialist techniques to maintain signal fidelity and synchronisation. In addition, the demonstrator will use RF over Fibre to distribute multiple wideband RF signals between a software defined radio and the high-power multi-band RRH.

To deliver such a novel project, Allen-Vanguard have partnered with two respected British companies; Plextek Services who will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) generative design to derive a SWaP-efficient cooling scheme to minimise the thermal impact of an RRH, and Pulse Power and Measurement (PPM) who will optimise the application of RF over Fibre (RFoF) technology using their industry-leading expertise. This combination of experience and knowledge will deliver a RRH demonstrator that will have the following key benefits:

  • Improved mission success – more efficient delivery of ECM RF effect
  • Increased inhibition range and maximum range of RF apertures
  • RFoF eliminates cable losses between power amplifier and antenna
  • RFoF offers unparalleled bandwidth and isolation performance
  • Optical Wavelength Division Multiplexing based switching to provide dynamic reconfigurability

In addition to above, the RRH delivers significant reductions in overall size, weight and power consumption of the fitted system which benefits the end user in relation to the reduced space, heat and electromagnetic interference caused inside the vehicle.

Bobby Strawbridge, Director Business Development for Allen-Vanguard said “This funding is excellent news, and drives forward this complex area of future ECM. We are very excited to be working in partnership with Plextek and PPM to push the boundaries of this capability, benefiting the end user by delivering a more effective capability to improve mission success, with far less impact on their operating space.”

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