News story

Easing big-data information overload and precision navigation

Case study from Plextek Consulting who pitched their ideas to industry and investors at the CDE Marketplace on 5 February 2015.


Funding from CDE has enabled Plextek Consulting to produce a series of low technology readiness level innovations including the ones described here in the areas of information processing and precision timing and navigation.

The first project considered how to ease the cognitive burden that a military analyst can suffer when subject to an avalanche of data, including both real-time data at the command post during an operation and data that has already been acquired. Deep Neural Network (DNN) analysis is used to automatically identify and highlight patterns and anomalies, which would otherwise remain hidden. The analyst is therefore able to focus on a subset of data that has been pre-filtered.

The second project explores how the positional accuracy and navigation of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) can be improved through sharing timing and location information. This could allow UUVs to better identify the location of potential threats, and increase the time between re-surfaces to gain a GPS fix to keep its positional error optimised. This increases the amount of area a UUV can survey in a given time. As part of this project, Plextek investigated the use of a chip-scale atomic clock to preserve the timing accuracy to support this technique. The next step is to conduct field trials to assess the concept on real-world data.

Dr Paul Martin, CTO of Plextek Consulting says:

CDE success has enabled Plextek to showcase our innovation skills across both defence and commercial markets. This has led to substantial new business and enduring relationships within the complete defence supply chain. CDE’s recent move to securing phase-2 funding at the launch of a themed competition attracts the attention of SMEs and we look forward to continuing and growing our engagement with CDE.

Centre for Defence Enterprise

Building R103
Fermi Avenue

Harwell Oxford
OX11 0QX

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Published 5 February 2015
Last updated 10 February 2015 + show all updates
  1. Pitch presentation slides added.
  2. First published.