Countering IEDs with novel electronic technologies

Linda D. Garrow
  • DASA has launched a new Innovation Focus Area (IFA) called Countering IEDs by Novel Technology and Techniques.
  • Seeking novel electronic technologies that can counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
  • Between £150k – £400k per proposal

It is vital that UK military and security users can continue to deploy new countermeasures and technologies to outpace IED threat evolution, to protect service personnel, emergency services and the public against the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

To address the UK’s need for IED threat detection, the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch a new IFA, Countering IEDs by Novel Technology and Techniques. This IFA aims to find and develop innovations that use either the Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum or provide an understanding of the RF spectrum in order to detect and disrupt the functionality of IEDs.

Funding available

Between £150k – £400k is available per proposal for this IFA. Proposals are expected to last between 6 – 18 months, and should deliver solutions at a minimum of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) 5/6.

The IFA is open for proposals now until further notice.

Have an innovation? Read the full competition document and submit a proposal.

Effective IED countermeasures: Key challenges

An important part of countering an IED threat is the detection of devices along with understanding the electromagnetic environment. This will help inform situational awareness and determine threat from non-threat, and inform the configuration of other countermeasures.

What is an IED?

An IED is an explosive device fabricated in an improvised manner, but with varying degrees of professionalism. An IED typically comprises of the following component types:

  • a power source
  • wires
  • electronic circuitry
  • an explosive initiator
  • an explosives charge
  • shrapnel products to increase fragmentation
  • trigger mechanism
  • various enclosures

The trigger mechanisms used to initiate IEDs are often adapted from commercial products. Examples could include modified Radio Controlled (RC) toys or the use of communication networks.

Challenge areas

There are three challenge areas of interest for the IFA, and proposals are expected to meet at least one of the below challenges.

Challenge 1

To capture and analyse RF signals using novel spectrum survey techniques, which may include:

  • signal analysis techniques and classification algorithms

  • generating methods or data analysis techniques to provide an understanding of the RF environment, which can be used to inform tactical decisions.

Challenge 2

To neutralise targets in a timely and effective manner, which may include:

  • novel techniques capable of countering devices that are agile across multiple frequency bands and radio access technologies

  • techniques to counter multiple diverse communications links with a variety of modulation schemes and signal types simultaneously across a wide spectrum (in the order of several GHz).

Challenge 3

New or novel hardware and ancillaries (system components), which may include:

  • novel antenna concepts to improve performance and lower the RF and visual signature of the service person or vehicle
  • advancements in hardware design such as tuneable filters and efficient ultra-wide band amplifier designs
  • optimisations in size, weight, or power, or efficiency optimisations in wideband RF signal generation technologies (in the order of several GHz)
  • novel signal and data processing technologies and techniques.

Read the full competition document to learn more about the challenge areas.

Submit a proposal

If you have a solution or technology that may help us discover better ways of countering IEDs and protect service personal and the public, DASA would like to hear from you. Read the full competition document to submit a proposal.

Submit a proposal.

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