DSEI 2019 – Blog Post

By Samuel Tyrrell 

DSEI 2019 

The Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition returned to London this September. The DSEI show hosts some of the most enhanced, significant innovations in the defense industry from all over the globe. For anyone who’s never been to the event before, and for those seasoned veterans who appear every 2 years – DSEI has a lot to offer, and of course Concurrent Technologies was delighted to be exhibiting again. For any sceptics out there, or anyone who has never heard of DSEI, let us explain what it’s all about and the benefits of going.

A warzone

Before we delve into the conversation about what there was to offer, and what incredible names, companies and innovations you could expect to find there – let’s discuss the general atmosphere and day to day excitement we encounter over the event.

With over 35,000 people in attendance over the 4-day event, DSEI was bound to be busy. The sheer amount of people in one space was extraordinary – maybe not so much at the time, but in reflection it was extremely positive how many individuals were exhibiting, connecting and simply attending. However, one slight issue surrounding such a big crowd, was the accessibility and transport to the event. One of the most common forms of passage to the event is public transport, an area we are familiar with at Concurrent Technologies as we supply some equipment to the Transport sector. The Dockland Light Railway, which services the two stations at DSEI, was completely packed on the first two days especially. Even with multiple trains running every few minutes, the queue to squeeze into one of the packed-out carriages left you with a 2 or even 3 train wait before you got moving. After the obstacle of transport, came the obstacle of security. With the sheer number of visitors, you can imagine how huge the queue into the event was, not to mention getting around once you finally managed to get yourself inside. Fortunately queuing to get inside the venue was brightened a bit by listening to the Bands of Royal Marines one day and the Grenadier Guards on another.

Putting the irritations aside, this event is such a positive thing for the defense industry as a whole. Having 35,000 people exhibiting and browsing meant ample opportunities for businesses, including our own, to connect with customers, potential partners and old friends from across the world. The opportunities were endless, and resulted in an extremely positive, successful event for many of those involved and it brings home the scale of involvement in supplying our defense forces. In the public eye, defense is associated with simple tanks and guns – but at events such as this one, the true extent is discovered: at the one end there were examples of ration packs and at the other end of the scale were ships from the Royal Navy and other visiting fleets, and a great deal of products in between.

  Figure1: Waterside Exhibits at DSEI

 Figure2: Ration Packs Example

In the Zone

With demand and requirement in the defense industry growing bigger and bigger over time, development and innovation must follow suit. An event such as DSEI gives people the platform to show off these innovations and discuss potential partnerships that will help to propel us into the future.

CTO of Concurrent Technologies, George Dickey commented:

“It was great to represent Concurrent Technologies at DSEI this year and witness the excitement around our new products featuring SOSA alignment and VMware certification. As cyber and supply chain security concerns continue to grow, we have had substantial interest in our UK designed and manufactured products.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) dominated the presentation theatres for all the armed services, government agencies and intelligence communities. There is a keen awareness that AI will enhance analysis capability and enable the deployment of more advanced autonomous platforms. There is now a real need to bring the AI models that currently sit in a remote data centre to the command centre and indeed the sensor / weapon platform. The closer the AI is to the source of the data, the less data needs to be transmitted and the faster analysis can be performed, increasing the iteration speed of the feedback loop.

Concurrent Technologies has leveraged our alliance with Intel, using the Intel OpenVINO toolkit to provide optimized deep learning inference capabilities to our single board computers and to future products featuring Intel’s diverse computing architectures. You can learn more about our involvement with AI, by reading our full release here.

Many other exhibitors and guests at the event displayed the same excitement to discuss the potential of AI to help in the ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) space for assistance with RF, Audio or Image recognition/classification.  The general consensus from these conversations is that over the next couple of years, and definitely the foreseeable future, several of these innovative companies and individuals will start to roll out AI based technologies – with some people going as far as claiming Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) of 6 or 7, only a short distance from the fully deployed Level 9. The progression of Artificial Intelligence is something that is extremely exciting and is causing a significant buzz around the defense industry. Who knows, by DSEI 2021 we could be encountering Warfighter Ready applications, but that’s a conversation for the future.

Other significant trends encountered during the 4-day event was the use of autonomous systems in the armed forces, and Big Data used in the Military. Autonomous systems are a key trend due to the momentous investment being made into land-based, aerial and naval systems to ensure military operations are as efficient, safe and cost effective as they could possibly be. The UK armed forces hosted various all-encompassing conferences discussing battlefield tactics and planning and how autonomy will alter this significantly. As for Big Data, the application of such was a hotly debated topic throughout.

 

DSEI 2019 was a success for everyone involved; record numbers in attendance, incredible creations and innovations from the varied pool of exhibitors and some potential opportunities revealed themselves. Concurrent Technologies eagerly awaits DSEI 2021, and with just over 700 days left to go until the next event, are you ready?

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