Innovation

Will These New Technologies Counter 21st Century Threats?

We visited 3CDSE Expo, a step into the future of counter-terrorism, military power and disaster relief.

It is a hub of the UK's defence and security industry, with more than 100 exhibitors showcasing the latest technology.

Now in its third year, 3 Counties Defence and Security Expo (3CDSE) is focused on counter-terrorism, military power and disaster relief.

The Three Counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire comprise the hub of the UK’s defence and security industry, dubbed the “golden triangle” - with the Ministry of Defence based in Herefordshire, Qinetiq and the Malvern Cyber Cluster in Worcestershire and GCHQ in Gloucestershire.

The theme of this year's Expo is innovation, so here are some of the showcased items that caught our eye.

One of the key objectives for defence companies is to reduce the weight burden on soldiers.

Control by thought

A soldier-worn smart hub which is controlled by the mind and could be used by the military in the near future.

This could be used to monitor wellbeing-related factors, such as stress and tiredness, but also all-around control.

Director of Advanced Technology of Ultra Electronics Limited, Antony White, said:

"This allows us to potentially fly a drone or control a ground vehicle by thought."

New protective fabric was also on show at the expo.

Combat clothes

Protective clothing provided for the military is also being showcased.

Uniforms are being updated in line with future combat environments.

At 3CDSE there were demonstrations of Generation IV combat clothing, a step up from the Gen III clothing used in Afghanistan.

Jim Clarke, programme manager at Level Peaks Association, explained that Gen IV maintains the protective qualities of the Gen III fabric, but is much lighter-weight and stretches more easily:

"When you bring it back to places like the UK and you get soaking wet, it is going to dry much quicker."

Drones have proved themselves vital in many situations.

Tethered drones

Drones are used regularly by the military now, but they are constantly evolving.

Elistair is one of the companies working on new solutions, and they came up with a "tethered system".

They say their drones cannot be jammed as there is no radio frequency between the ground station and the drone.

"Tether drones allow us to fly beyond the standard length of a battery, which normally limits the flight time of drones," said Steve Allcock, their business development manager.

"The idea is that we can provide a persistent surveillance capability."

In terms of physical security, he said that the drone can't fly away from the length of the tether.

Every year this event brings together senior military leading forces looking for modern technology that can be used to fight against any future threat.