Britain Investing USD 2.5 Billion in Space Sensor Research and Hypersonic Technologies

Britain’s Ministry of Defence has identified a series of key future technologies in which it plans to invest USD 2.5 billion over the next four years.

FREMONT, CA: The Ministry of Defence in Britain has chosen several important emerging technologies in which it intends to invest USD 2.5 billion over the following four years. The Science & Technology Portfolio initiative, according to a statement from the MoD, aims to support the development of critical long-term military capabilities. A hypersonic weapon demonstration, new space capabilities, enhanced artificial intelligence research, innovative materials, and nuclear submarine systems are just a few of the initiatives being made. As part of the 6.6 billion Pounds (USD 8.3 billion) total research and development budget set aside in the 2021 Strategic Review, the government declared it will spend USD 2 billion between now and 2026. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, or Dstl, is the research branch of the British military, and it released its list of priorities for the expenditure plan earlier this week. It contains details on 25 programmes in the portfolio that are anticipated to draw sizable financing and provide prospects for business and academic collaboration.

Defence officials used a joint space initiative that Dstl is running with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to emphasise the portfolio approach's goals. Later this year, the Coordinated Ionospheric Reconstruction Cubesat Experiment (CIRCE), which consists of a pair of cereal-box-sized satellites with a small space weather sensor suite, will be launched into orbit.

Two Blue Canyon Technologies 6U satellites will be equipped with three British-developed sensors as well as sensors from NRL as part of the mission to gather data on space weather. The Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket, which is mounted on the wing of a Boeing 747-400, will carry both of the CIRCE project satellites into orbit together with other payloads. It would be the first satellite launch ever conducted in the United Kingdom. Squadron Leader Matthew Stannard of the Royal Air Force, who participated in a Virgin Orbit mission earlier this year to launch satellites from a facility in California, is most likely to pilot the aircraft. University College London, the University of Bath, and Surrey Satellite Technology created the British tiny sensors for Dstl.

The sensor suites will keep an eye on changes in the ionosphere, a region of the Earth's atmosphere that is located between 30 and 600 miles above the surface and where environmental changes can affect the performance of GPS, communications, and sensing equipment.

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