Detecting and protecting

Dayford Designs has completed a series of PCBs for Qinetiqs Cerberus 360 Swimmer Detection System. The project included: a 12-layer high-speed data communications PCB; 12-layer ADC PCB using micro-via technology; flexible PCB; power amplifier PCB; and power converter PCB. Qinetiqs Cerberus system is designed to provide an effective, rapid response to the problem of protecting a harbour, ship or vulnerable asset from the threat of attack (on or beneath the surface) by terrorists, insurgents or hostile forces. In today’s world the challenges faced by governments to detect, identify and respond to defence and homeland security threats requires the advanced technical capabilities.

Qinetiqs chief engineer at for the Cerberus project, Andy Webb, said: We needed a reliable and trustworthy partner for our first commercial venture and had no hesitation in continuing to work with our long term supplier Dayford Design in outsourcing the PCB design functions. The project involved a number of PCBs ranging from complex micro-via technology to power supplies, all required in short timescales and Dayford had the necessary experience and capacity to support us.

Dayfords managing director, Jim Hurford, added: We have been providing PCB services to Qinetiq since 2001 and for many years to the companys predecessors, the MOD Defence research labs, DERA, DRA and RSRE. The PCBs for this project were demanding but we met all stringent design criteria, on schedule and to budget.

The Cerberus 360 Swimmer Detection System offers cost-effective automated detection, classification and tracking at long range. Cerberus uses wideband sonar technologies to detect intrusion by swimmers using snorkel, scuba or re-breather, plus swimmer delivery vehicles. It provides the early detection, classification, tracking and warning of threat targets over a 1.6 km protection circle. Shallow coastal waters and harbours are a challenging environment for sonar due to their depth, seabed topography and variable sound profiles.