News story

Improving performance of chaff countermeasures through the use of microwires

Case study from Meon Technology Ltd who will pitch their ideas to industry and investors at the CDE Marketplace on 27 April 2016.

A Royal Navy Sea King Mk4 helicopter of the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) fires decoy flares.

Meon Technology Ltd has been funded by the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) to research the use of microwire; a fine glass fibre with a metal core. This is an alternative to the current material used in ‘chaff’.

Chaff is a radar countermeasure used by military aircraft to avoid detection or attack by adversaries. Aluminium-coated glass fibre is the most commonly used material for chaff. However this material does not disperse efficiently and there may be other ways of improving chaff performance.

Through this project, micro-SME Meon Technology, alongside partners the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton and the University of Cranfield, has developed a microwire production process and a method to compare the efficacy of microwire and other materials as chaff.

A new chaff material with better dispersion or radar cross-section could enhance the capability of UK armed forces to counter radar threats to air and naval platforms.

Brian Butters, Director, Meon Technology Ltd says:

CDE has been very supportive in assisting me to set up the research project and finding the necessary funding. While this project is looking at microwire for use in chaff, microwire also has numerous other applications. Such as in advanced composites, electrochemical sensors and very small wire conductors and electrodes, so there could be other benefits too.

Meon Technology Ltd is located near Portsmouth, Hampshire. Founded in April 2012 it has just 1 employee.

About CDE

CDE funds novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research. We work with the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to develop cost-effective capabilities for UK armed forces and national security.

CDE is part of Dstl.

Centre for Defence Enterprise

Building R103
Fermi Avenue

Harwell Oxford
OX11 0QX

Please email for the quickest response.

Published 19 April 2016