Key Facts

Company: BAE Systems
Location: Farnborough, North Hampshire
Sector: Aerospace & Defence

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“To have competitive products and capabilities for future global markets we need to initiate the research now, with the best academics."

Professor John Murphy, Head of University Partnerships, BAE Systems

Developing New Technologies in Hampshire – A Collaboration Between BAE Systems and the University of Southampton

When Farnborough based BAE Systems was looking to solve challenges relating to disaster recovery a partnership formed between the UK’s largest aerospace company and the University of Southampton, one of the top 15 research universities in the UK.

The Autonomous Learning Agents for Decentralised Data and Information Networks (ALADDIN) is a multi-million pound multi-disciplinary research programme which aims to solve present day and imminent challenges of disaster recovery, in particular the restoration and maintenance of decentralised data and information systems. The ALADDIN programme is one of many programmes that bring groundbreaking academic groups to key industrial challenges through the BAE Systems/EPSRC Strategic Partnership, with the objective of delivering high quality research and enhancing industrial capabilities. The ALADDIN programme is being delivered through the Strategic Capability Partnership between the University of Southampton and BAE Systems. ALADDIN is funded by a BAE Systems and EPSRC Strategic Partnership. Total funding since the five year programme began in October 2005 has amounted to £8.5m.

A large number of technologies have been successfully developed as a result of the effective academic and industry joint approach to research management and technology transfer, some of which are highlighted below.

Technology transfer 1: Fault Recovery in Sensor Fusion ALADDIN has developed a novel approach to handling sensor data whose trustworthiness cannot be confirmed. Generalised covariance union facilitates robust and consistent data fusion even in the face of faulty sensor readings, and has been transferred to BAE Systems Military Air Solutions for use in airborne platforms.

Technology transfer 2: Force threat and evaluation and weapon assignment (Force TEWA) ALADDIN has developed decentralised coordination mechanisms to apply to this problem in which multiple maritime warships must be protected against multiple threats in a dynamic setting. These new approaches have been demonstrated within BAE Systems’ CMS-1 Combat Management System to provide better solutions in less time through improved computational efficiency.

Technology transfer 3: Logistics market-based approaches developed within ALADDIN are being used by BAE Systems Integrated Technologies (Insyte) to automate the military logistics challenge of getting personnel and supplies in the right place at the right time while meeting wider systems issues such as security, scalability, and survivability. Professor John Murphy, Head of University Partnerships, BAE Systems, said: “To have competitive products and capabilities for future global markets we need to initiate the research now, with the best academics.”