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UK defence innovation initiative

Infographic of a new Quantum Gravimeter developed with the University of Birmingham could allow the military to survey underground structures in minutes rather than weeks. This portable gravity sensing system uses cold atom quantum technology and two gravimeters coupled together for the first time to allow for higher sensitivity and reliability when carrying out surveys, enhanced robustness to external noise sources and drastically reduced measurement time. Applications for the UK Armed Forces range from spotting enemy tunnels to supporting disaster relief. – © MOD Crown Copyright 2016

On 16 September UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is finalising a £30 million deal for a new laser demonstrator which could the transform weapons technology of the future and the development of the UK’s first laser weapon. This is just one of the examples of ground-breaking technology that the UK MOD will support with its new £800 million Innovation Fund.

Life-saving vital signs monitors, advanced anti-missile systems, tiny insect inspired surveillance drones, quantum gravitational detectors, protective materials, and airborne threat-targeting laser weapons are some of the other examples of technology which the UK government’s drive for innovation will support from pitch to procurement.

A tiny Unmanned Aerial System with flapping wings inspired by the biology of a dragonfly, currently in development with Animal Dynamics. The micro-drone will use advanced micro-engineering for unparalleled levels of performance, it is claimed. This has the potential to have a huge impact on intelligence-gathering in future operations in complex urban environments. – © MOD Crown Copyright 2016