Defence is on the attack

ES Aug13 Pg14 DSEI PreviewlogoElectronics is a key recurring theme at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition and this year is no different

Billed as the largest integrated defence and security exhibition in the world, Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) focuses on key sectors such as air, land, naval, unmanned and medical equipment, as well as systems for medical and disaster relief and security and special forces. Hosted at London’s ExCeL every two years, DSEI 2013 will take place from 10 to 13 September. It aims to provide the ideal meeting place for global defence and military communities.

As a precursor to this year’s anticipated success, it’s worth looking at some figures from the last event. Organised by Clarion Events, DSEI 2011 attracted 1,391 exhibiting companies, representing 46 countries with 30 international pavilions. There were also 28,440 international visitors and 1,070 global VIPs in attendance. DSEI 2013 however, is ready to set a new benchmark with at least 30,000 visitors from across the globe expected to be attracted by 40 international pavilions, 1,400 exhibitors and an enhanced seminar programme.

With a record number of international pavilions now confirmed, DSEI 2013’s global reach is designed to enable companies and individuals to build relationships, forge partnerships and access new markets, by bringing key countries and entire geographical regions within easy reach, all in one place. This in turn ensures DSEI is increasingly seen as the place to do business in the global defence and security market.

Key themes

One of the key recurring themes of recent DSEI events has been that of electronic innovation for aerospace and military operations. The synergy between electronics and the defence industry has become increasingly important, as confirmed by the UK’s Government.

In February 2012, the UK Government published its white paper entitled ‘National Security through Technology: Technology, Equipment, and Support for UK Defence and Security,’ which took into account responses received from the consultation green paper that was published in December 2010.

Under the ‘growth’ section, the Paper states that: “The UK is a leading exporter of technology intensive manufacturing goods and has a strong competitive advantage in sectors with a strong skills and research base – such as aerospace, defence, microelectronics, and cyber security. In 2010, defence-related research and development accounted for more than half of research in the electrical equipment and machinery industries and around a third in the aerospace sector.”


With the reduction of US and European military operations in Afghanistan, there is no doubt that electronics have collectively demonstrated their capabilities in a wide array of combat proven technologies.

An example is the military man-portable electronics market that shows potential for strong growth as countries seek to modernise soldiers’ equipment. A recent Visiongain market report highlighted what these trends mean and although the high end of the market is expected to suffer from budget cuts in both US and Europe, simpler devices such as soldiers’ radios, night vision goggles (NVG), laser designators and rangefinders, are likely to thrive in markets that lack such capabilities. Currently, the man-portable military electronics sector is valued by Visiongain at some $2.77bn.

Of course all areas of electronics will be up for scrutiny at the show. DSEI 2013 will again be featuring the International Electronics Pavilion, hosted by National Electronics Week, which is dedicated to electronic manufacturing companies who do business or would like to do business in the defence and security industry.

Exhibiting companies within the Pavilion at DSEI 2013 will have an opportunity to promote their capabilities and technology to key defence industry decision makers and buyers as part of the electronics community. Participating companies include, but are not limited to: Aerco, Apem, FC Lane, Kallista and Molex.

ES Aug13 Pg14 DSEI Preview2Lighting the way

UK-based electrical component distributor, Aerco, will display a range of components designed for the defence industry, while providing refreshments for customers and suppliers visiting the show. The company will be located on Stand S4-142 within the UK Group at DSEI 2013.

As the UK master distributor and stockist for Oxley, Aerco will display a range of radio frequency interference discrete filters, light emitting diode (LED) indicators, data capture products and LED night vision compatible indicators designed for use in all defence applications that use night vision goggles and night vision imaging systems (NVIS).

Aerco is an official franchised distributor for many component original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the defence market. Representatives from many of these companies will be available at the show to respond to visitors’ enquiries.

The stand will also feature a range of power connectors from Hypertac and other connector companies, as well as cable and wire products, opto-indicators, sensors, switches, fans, solenoids and relays.

Product manager at Aerco, Sarah Kelly, confirmed: “The defence industry is an important target area for Aerco. The industry, always at the forefront of technology and setting the highest standards in terms of performance and reliability, is highly demanding in that development programmes can take many years and, once in production, products may have to be supported for decades.

“To be successful in this area, a distributor must offer strong technical support, a comprehensive product range and hold large stocks. Most importantly, the company has to have the financial strength to support those products over the full development and production cycle.

“Having worked in this area since soon after its formation in 1956, Aerco also has the experience and knowledge required to overcome problems caused by obsolescence while protecting customers from the risks of using inadequate counterfeit products.

“We also add value with a strong in-house design team and assemble connectors for Hypertac, AB Connectors and Deutsch to provide purchasing flexibility for our customers.”

Military MMIs

Man machine interface (MMI) specialist, Apem Components, has been a global player in this technology for over 60 years. During this time it has developed and supplied numerous MMIs tailored to military requirements from its eight manufacturing facilities, which include two based in the UK. The company is therefore returning to DSEI 2013 for what it expects to be another successful exhibition.

This year the company’s offering will highlight integrated solutions across multiple market segments. Apem will display its range of robust military grade switches including toggle, push button, rocker and E-Stops and a range of sealed LED indicators with NVIS capabilities.

Defence industry specialist at Apem Components, Neil Smith, said: “These ranges are available sealed to IP67 and we can offer product released to CECC and MIL standards. Apem switches, indicators, joysticks, grips and keyboards are used throughout the defence industry and can be  viewed on our stand S2-390 at DSEI 2013. We look forward to welcoming existing and new customers during the exhibition.”

Tough connectors

Military and high-reliability connectors will take centre stage on F C Lane Electronics’ stand at DSEI 2013. The company, which is part of the Lodge Group, is a franchised distributor for many  electrical and electronic connector manufacturers including Huber and Suhner, Souriau, Radiall and ITW McMurdo.

At this year’s event, Lane Electronics will feature its military and high-reliability connector capability designed to meet MIL-C-5015, MIL-C-26482 and MIL-D38999 standards.

A key focus will be Souriau’s micro38999 circular connectors, which have been designed for demanding environments and claim to offer performance advantages over even the smallest MIL-DTL38999 series III units.

Managing director of Lane Electronics, Simon Hammerton, explained: “The new micro38999 connectors offer the best possible performance from the most compact models currently available. The micro38999 units allow size and weight savings of as much as 50 per cent when compared with regular MIL-DTL38999 series III connectors. This means they satisfy the increasing demand for more compact and lighter connection solutions for military, aerospace and industrial applications.”

The Souriau MIL-DTL-38999 series III ELIO fibre-optic connector range has been designed for use where severe vibration is encountered or mechanical resistance required. It is housed within the MIL-DTL-38999 connector platform and benefits from the inherent qualities of a field proven high specification military connector.

The connectors are supplied as standard with olive green cadmium or nickel plating and are available from two to 24 way, housed across five shell sizes. They can be supplied with an aluminium, stainless steel, nickel aluminium bronze or composite shell. With an environmental performance to MIL-DTL-38999 and EN-3645, they boast an operating temperature range of -65 to 150ºC and an endurance of 500 mating/unmating operations.

Lane Electronics is able to supply all key connector types including: circular, filtered, RF, coaxial, sub-miniature, back shells and adaptors, D connectors, aerospace, test and measurement, insulation displacement connectors (IDC), printed circuit board (PCB) connectors, edge connectors and connectors for rack and panel applications.

ES Aug13 Pg14 DSEI Preview3Circular interconnect

DSEI will see UK distributor, Kallista Electronics, promote its range of circular connectors from various manufacturers. With both its UK base and its own USA-based connector assembly facility, Kallista aims to offer short lead times on many ranges of circular and military connector. This means parts are available within four to five days and with full traceability and certification to ISO approvals.

Examples of this type of product include the Mil-C-26482 series II miniature bayonet-lock circular connector, which is similar to series one, but with a higher performance capability, incorporating rear-release crimp contacts, which are available in a variety of different styles and contact arrangements.

This product is intermatable with MIL-C-26482 series one and MIL-C-83723 series one. Part numbers include Panavia part numbers, such as 6020 and mil spec MS3476. A variety of accessories are available to suit these connectors.

Having built its business on providing good service, Kallista Electronics claims to have established itself as a major connector distributor in the UK. Recent additions of relays and switches have grown its portfolio of both suppliers and products.

E-mech solutions

Molex delivers complete electromechanical interconnect solutions. Its product portfolio includes connector systems, harness assemblies, interface solutions such as membrane and capacitive switches for front panels and keyboards, mobile antenna and RF solutions, micro-miniature and high-speed data solutions, ruggedised interconnects, PCBs and fibre-optic assemblies.

At DSEI 2013, Molex will be showcasing Temp-Flex microwave cables, said to deliver exceptional electrical performance in military, aerospace and defence, robotics and medical markets, in addition to automatic test equipment.

Temp-Flex microwave coaxial cables are available in two different configurations. Buyers can select a low loss format with a solid core fluoropolymer resin dielectric or an ultra-low loss air-enhanced design with a fluoropolymer resin layer applied over dual monofilaments around the centre conductor for increased signal speed. High purity fluoropolymer resin boasts a low dissipation factor and ensures a lower rate of energy loss. Highly consistent manufacturing processes are used to maintain tight mechanical tolerances, which is designed to yield extremely stable electrical performance.

Additional benefits of Temp-Flex low and ultra-low loss microwave coaxial cables include phase stability, tight impedance tolerance of -50Ohms, ±1Ohm, and bandwidth potential up to 110GHz.

Designed for monitoring and control of radar, military vehicles, satellite, space, missile, RF ablation and test and measurement equipment, Temp-Flex coaxial cable solutions are insulated with a fluoropolymer dielectric. A helically-wrapped silver-plated copper flat-wire shield and braid are applied to all cable sizes to achieve superior shielding effectiveness. The standard solid core construction coaxial cable delivers 70 per cent velocity of propagation (VOP), while the air-enhanced dual monofilament design achieves 85 to 88 per cent VOP and improved insertion loss at high frequencies.

Cool concepts

Dynamic-Air Engineering manufactures fans and blowers, as well as designing self contained fan control subsystems for military vehicles, the benefits of which will be highlighted at DSEI.

A typical system build revolves around an intelligent master controller (IMC). Based on the customer’s specifications, the system can autonomously activate fans and blowers, or adjust their performance based on sensor input or commands from the vehicle. For example the IMC can individually activate or adjust fan performance based on sensor detection of fumes or particulates, or changes in altitude or temperature.

The system can also change behaviour based on commands from the vehicle. For example, all of the fans can spin at maximum power when the weapon systems are firing, or shut down completely when the vehicles fire suppression system is activated.

There are further benefits associated with an IMC based cooling solution. This is because the traditional architecture for incorporating fans or blowers into a vehicle utilises the vehicle’s systems to directly control each fan and blower. This requires cable runs from the vehicle’s control systems directly to each individual fan. Using the DAE intelligent master controller however, means a complete fan system can be designed into a specific area of the vehicle, such as the engine compartment, the turret or the crew cabin. The vehicle’s systems need only run cable for CAN bus to the DAE IMCs, which in turn control all of the fan characteristics in that subsystem. This can help simplify design and maintenance.

DSEI event director, Duncan Reid, concluded: “With its international reach, we are expecting some 30,000 visitors to attend this year’s DSEI event. We are grouping leading companies within the International Electronics Pavilion and there is no doubt that with this high quality across the supply chain, there will be excellent networking opportunities as well as the ability to see new technologies first-hand on the show floor. DSEI is the must-attend event of 2013 and will be the place to conduct business in the global defence and security market.”