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Proof-of-concept trial of special-purpose infrared camouflage

A Swiss industrial company has produced a specimen camouflage suit for S+T using a special fabric treated with a newly developed coating. 

The suit’s special camouflage properties are designed with the infrared spectral range in mind. In mid-May, as part of a long-term study, trials were conducted among units at the Monte Cenere training ground with camouflage for individuals. The camouflaging effect of the suits was tested against different backgrounds both visually and using infrared cameras and at different times of day. The test demonstrated the potential advantages of the new coating technology in terms of the camouflage effect as well as the challenges it can be expected to pose for the development team and the degree of comfort for those wearing it.

Two APCs fitted with camouflage kits underway at the Bure training ground

Last November, a camouflage kit for APCs was tested at the Bure training ground. Compared to the simple rectangular camouflage nets currently used (“stationary camouflage”), the additional camouflaging effect was retained even while the vehicle was in motion (“mobile camouflage”).

Camouflaging properties are regularly examined and tested. S+T used a mobile field radar, set at 94 GHz, to test the camouflaging properties of a camouflage kit attached to vehicles by armed forces personnel. The test demonstrated the potential advantages of a mobile camouflage kit for APCs, the difficulties encountered during development work and, in approximate terms, the properties that the kit can be expected to exhibit. The additional weight, the time taken to install the kit and service the vehicle and the impaired driving properties suggest that the design and materials currently available are restrictive.

Simulation

Protective clothing in the form of body armour has been constantly modified and improved since time immemorial. The two world wars of the 20th century ensured that further developments to protective clothing were continuously pursued. Today, protective clothing is mainly worn by the armed forces and the police and is subject to standardised test procedures applicable throughout the world.

Tracking Platfrom

Switzerland is an active participant in the Partnership for Peace, a political initiative jointly supported by NATO and 22 partner countries. This is an important forum for Switzerland in terms of security policy. In addition to contributing its own standpoint and sharing information with others, membership also allows Switzerland to participate in international campaigns such as the EMBOW countermeasures campaign. The Swiss S+T  Multi-Sensor Tracking Platform provides a state-of-the-art tool as the core system for the Swiss measurement team during these campaigns.

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Transmitter

IBBK radio is the Swiss population’s source of information in crisis situations. The network is constantly maintained. In view of a certain amount of ageing, the current coaxial cables to the emergency transmitters have to be replaced. Evaluating the candidate replacement equipment requires specialist knowledge of materials and elec-trical engineering.

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Detecting sub-surface blinds

In anticipation of its environmental restoration, a peat bog in the Bernese Jura has been recently examined for any remains of firing activity carried out there in the past. Before the environmental restoration project can take place, the area needs to be cleared, and experts are analysing and assessing the extent of the work involved.

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Umweltbelastung in Serbien

When it comes to demilitarisation, environment-friendly processes play a major role. Decades of experience have made Switzerland a leader in the field. A NATO project is now set to benefit from this expertise when it is employed in an area of Serbia.

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A crucial topic in the area of military security

The annual Austrian-Swiss technical conference (Fachgespräche A-CH) was held this year in Bregenz on 30-31 August 2016. The varied programme attracted a considerable number of participants from the BMLVS and the DDPS. Four important findings were made in the areas of lead-free ammunition, drones, cruise missiles and modelling/simulation.

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Drucklanze

Until recently, laboratories throughout the world were reliant on just one commercial manufacturer of pencil probes. It was only at the end of last year that a competitor launched its own sensors, thus providing an alternative source for the first time in years.

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NEMP Prüfeinrichtung für den Tiger F-5 Test

The Swiss armaments procurement agency already knew about Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (NEMP) 50 years ago, thanks to the strong contacts between ETHZ and American research institutes. During this time, the relevant US protective measures against ground-level detonations have been applied in Switzerland

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Handhabungssicherheitstest Elektrostatik-Entladung im Rahmen Round-Robin Test

Munition items suffer wear and tear. Therefore they need to be inspected regularly to ensure they are still fit for purpose. Aging of munitions/explosives can impair their reliability. International ringtests in which measurements were performed for quality assurance purposes have confirmed conformity with the international standard at all times.

Kleindrohne

Small commercial small drones are becoming ever more affordable. This is one of the reasons why their prevalence and the resulting interest in reliable surveillance solutions have increased dramatically. To better evaluate their effects on and the capabilities of radar as a potential surveillance sensor, S+T has carried out extensive experimental and numerical tests using a small commercially available drone.

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Messaufbau PaBiRa

armasuisse S+T has currently set up a study to investigate the potential and future development of a new radar technology. This will allow an estimate of its potential to be made for the next 10 years. Potential which also, however, poses risks. The knowledge gained has closed existing gaps, something that is of great importance for making sound assessments of passive and bistatic radar systems.

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GMTF im Tarnkit

Camouflage characteristics are regularly investigated and examined. Since August 3 this year, S+T has been measuring the radar signature of an armored personnel carrier (APC) in the test chamber in Thun and will continue to do so until September 11. The measurement infrastructure being used is part of a long-term study investigating just how visible vehicle camouflage characteristics are, in order to produce improvements in camouflage.

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Windkraftanlagen

With the move away from fossil fuels, there is growing interest in wind energy. There is a risk, however, that wind power plants in Switzerland could adversely affect DDPS installations. S+T was tasked with doing basic analysis to establish the extent to which wind power plants are potentially disruptive to DDPS systems and to determine the means by which this could be avoided.

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Antennen auf dem Dach des GHH
Antennen im Einsatz

Antennas are core elements in communication and surveillance systems. S+T analyzes technological developments and examines antennas in light of the Swiss Armed Forces' very diverse requirements.

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Satelliten: Hochtechnologische Unterstützung aus dem All

The options for deploying satellites in the communications field have been investigated, analyzed and evaluated by S+T. The resulting study, delivered to the Army Staff, sums up the principal findings, from scientific aspects and a market analysis to the future prospects for satellite systems.

Cockpit

S+T has produced a summary of existing training and simulator systems. Training facilities are a vital element in all security-related organizations – not least of all the Swiss Armed Forces, given the growing shortage of training opportunities, training periods and training staff. It is essential to keep developing these facilities with a view to optimizing the usefulness of the training results.

Simulation der Kommunikation_
Simulation der Kommunikation_

Organizations with security-related roles such as the DDPS, the police or the cantons are constantly confronted with the need to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. Here a methodical approach is beneficial to decision-making and also saves costs. In this context, S+T is conducting a multi-phase proof-of-principle trial. This covers the whole process from the initial on-screen simulation and the initial field trials through to full-scale exercises with armed forces personnel.

Award
Best Paper Award Auszeichnung

Vincent Lenders (armasuisse Science and Technology) together with David Gugelmann, Fabian Gasser and Bernhard Ager (ETH Zurich) have received an award at the annual Digital Forensic Research Workshop conference (DFRWS EU 2015) in Dublin.

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Akkreditierungs Zertifikat

Science and Technology (S+T) was tasked with monitoring and evaluating the development of the new explosive practice round 16 for our mortars. The ammunition has been subjected to a series of tests in various S+T establishments. The aim is provide units with a safe and reliable product.

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Geschoss beim Austritt aus dem Rohr

Science and Technology (S+T) was tasked with monitoring and evaluating the development of the new explosive practice round 16 for our mortars. The ammunition has been subjected to a series of tests in various S+T establishments. The aim is provide units with a safe and reliable product.

Schutzbrillentest, Testdummy

All members of the Swiss Armed Forces are equipped with spectacles as protection against fragments from projectiles or missiles. Minute fragments in particular can quickly enter the eyes and cause irreparable damage. S+T was commissioned by armasuisse's P+C Competence Sector to draw up an appropriate test method for protective spectacles as there were to date no adequate guidelines for the Armed Forces' needs.

FA/18

This year the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IDSIA, USI-SUPSI) celebrates the 10th anniversary of the partnership with Armasuisse, Science and Technology, the federal office in charge of the development of military decision-support systems for the armed forces. “We are grateful to the IDSIA research group for their excellent contribution and we are very happy to continue this collaboration to face the new challenges posed by the future” says Philippe Luginbühl, Risk Assessment Project Manager of Armasuisse.

Unterwassermetalldetektor im Einsatz

Du 12 au 16 octobre of 2015, S+T a procédé à des tests de recherches dans le lac de Constance, sur mandat du service de déminage du Land de Bade-Wurtemberg. Le but de l'exercice était la recherche de bombes non explosées datant de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale. Il s'agit d'un excellent exemple de la collaboration transfrontalière entre l'Allemagne et la Suisse dans le domaine de la protection des eaux.

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Geborgene Übungsmunition

The air force firing range on Lake Neuchâtel has been used for over 80 years. Recovering and defusing unexploded munitions from the lake is a highly specialized task. In the first week of August this year a team of experts – including staff from S+T's Explosives and Ammunition Surveillance competence sector – helped to successfully salvage eight "bombs", which were subsequently removed for safe disposal.

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