Masdar Institute to Highlight Five Defense Related Research Innovations at IDEX 2017

September 21, 2018

Masdar Institute will be displaying five defense-related research innovations at the 13th edition of the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi.

IDEX will be held from 19-23 February 2017 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Provost, Masdar Institute, said: “The unique and dynamic Masdar Institute projects being featured at IDEX have the potential to serve many of the country’s strategic technology needs, including in the defense sector. We are confident that our talented faculty, students and researchers will continue to find innovative ways to advance our defense related technologies.”

The Masdar Institute projects being featured at IDEX 2017 are expected to exemplify the ways that technologies can reduce risk, improve intelligence gathering, or augment the abilities of human teams in defense applications. The UAE national students working on these projects include Yusra Abed Al Rahman, Fatima Al Obeideli, and Houda Al Zarkani.

The projects to be featured will include two state-of-the-art platforms from URS Laboratories: The GDTS-SXM1 (Guided Drone Transportation System) and the GDMD-SXM1 (Guided Drone Mine Detection System). “For us at URS Labs, these two critical-supply-solutions projects greatly benefited from our collaboration with Masdar Institute. Over the past year we participated in the institute’s advanced ‘working group program’ and our projects clearly profited from not only Masdar’s Institutes advanced technical input but also from their practical, high level, even enthusiastic, challenges. This combination has allowed us at URS Labs to fine tune and quickly make adjustments. Thus thanks to this magnificent collaboration with the Masdar Institute URS Laboratories is proud to introduce at IDEX two of our advanced robotic and autonomous systems. The GDTS-SXM1 series represents the new future formula to deliver, without further loss of life, the most urgent and critical supplies to troops even in the most fluid and challenging environments, such as under battle conditions. While the UK ministry of Defense labels such supply conditions, most often over the most arduous terrain, the most difficult “last mile”, (and while that is true) , many of the special operators in our tests under real conditions expanded on the UK label and suitably dubbed these final-stage transportation challenges the ‘longest miles’.

The three core features ‘go-anywhere-fast’, ‘bringing substantial relief’ and ‘without-loss-of-life’ of our URS robotic and autonomous systems are ideally suited to also address the seemingly perpetual global threat of (both new and old) landmines and our GDMD-SXMI series is specifically developed for this application and become the new standard. Our series is expedient and easy to operate and promises to fast detect and destruct landmines without further loss of life,” explained Matthew Cochran, CEO & Co-Founder of URS Laboratories. URS Labs has worked to identify quickly local Emirati companies they can work with to maximize content from Made In UAE products and services into a sustainable manufacturing center they hope to establish in the UAE. URS Laboratories Limited, with offices in Switzerland, is currently in the process of establishing its head office in Masdar city. An additional URS development is through its UK-based partner QinetiQ, a leading technology development and engineering company operating primarily in the defense, security and aerospace markets. Both QinetiQ and Masdar Institute will have the URS platforms on display at their respective IDEX 2017 booths.

Another innovative project to be featured is the SaferTrident system, a multi-purpose hybrid diver propulsion vehicle (DPV). An autonomous underwater vehicle that can be used to assist divers to do underwater mapping and localization. This mapping technology is of particular use for the defense and security sectors. The system has been designed so that both the hardware and software is modular and can be adapted and customized for various uses. The SaferTrident system is being prototyped in the UAE at INNOVATOR Space TechShop Abu Dhabi and tested at Masdar Institute in collaboration with the world class facilities and research students within Masdar City.

Masdar Institute is also presenting ongoing work related to developing a real-time, automated and non-destructive materials testing tool with thermal imaging technologies. The tool can test the structural integrity of a range of materials, including aluminum, steel, carbon composites and plastics, at a low-cost. This can allow for the rapid testing of aircraft or vehicle parts..

Masdar Institute will be showcasing another inspection tool being developed by its scientists that leverages infrared light and advanced processing software to locate defects in structures. This tool could make detecting defects in critical materials, like aerospace components, easier, faster and more reliable, resulting in greater safety.

In addition, Masdar Institute will introduce IDEX attendees to a dual imaging system its researchers have developed that fuses infrared and visible light. This fusion produces real-time reconstruction of a scene in greater detail, which can make imaging, monitoring and navigation more efficient.

IDEX is hosted in association and with the full support of the UAE Armed Forces. As the only international defense exhibition and conference in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, IDEX demonstrates the latest technology across land, sea and air sectors of defense. It is a unique platform to establish and strengthen relationships with government departments, businesses and armed forces throughout the region.

Clarence Michael
News Writer
15 February 2017