QinetiQ has been awarded a contract by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to carry out additional research into generating quality situational awareness to enable the coordination of the defence of a vessel against the surface threat posed by small boats.

Dstl has a developed a proof of concept sensor system for the detection of small boat threat. Under this contract, QinetiQ Command Information Systems Services will now develop a containerised experiment facility for Dstl, incorporating some of its own technology, to enable a demonstration of the system and its capabilities at sea. The demonstrator will integrate all relevant on-board sensors and show how information can be most effectively presented to command to allow them to make informed decisions and coordinate a response to an identified threat.

This work builds on research already delivered by QinetiQ on co-ordinating defence against the small boat threat and will increase the technology readiness level of the proof of principle concepts previously funded by Dstl through the Centre for Defence Enterprise.

"This work is aimed at understanding how data can be most effectively presented to the operator to aid situation awareness and combat the small boat threat. We selected QinetiQ because they are able to bring together knowledge of sensor technology, experience in the discipline of human factors and a systems engineering approach," said Philip Smith, Affordable Maritime Presence Programme Manager at Dstl.

QinetiQ’s Maritime Command Information Systems Services has over 25 years’ experience in delivering state of-the-art services and specialised technology to defence, security and emergency service organisations around the world. Its services support the entire lifecycle of a command information system from concept development and design, through system evaluation and assessment, system integration to operational performance. The services are delivered by experienced systems engineers and scientists supported by an extensive range of specialised equipment and bespoke software.

"This is the second contract we have been awarded by Dstl which focuses on the threat posed by small boats to large vessels. This contract plays very much to our strengths in that we will be combining our extensive system, sensor and technical capabilities with our knowledge and understanding of human factors," said Sarah Kenny, Managing Director for the Maritime business at QinetiQ.