All articles by Gary Peters

Gary Peters

The critical importance of NATO communications

NATO’s Polycom technology provides command and control capability for meetings, international communication and operational mission collaboration across NATO’s highly protected restricted network. Claire Apthorp sat down with the head of the NATO Communications and Information Agency to find out how more about how its comms are run.

Repair and protect: damage detection for soldier safety

Plextek has created a detection system to immediately identify any damage to a soldier’s armour while still on the battlefield. The system can even identify hairline fractures, which often go undetected but can seriously compromise reliability. Claire Apthorp caught up with the programme to find out how the technology can immediately inform a soldier whether their armour has experienced hidden damage, without the need for bulk routine X-rays.

As autonomous technology emerges, are the days of the soldier numbered?

A huge amount of pressure on the UK MoD to reduce costs has resulted in plans to cut the number of regular soldiers. Meanwhile new operational requirements, combined with media and public opinion, are also pushing the MoD to better equip soldiers and, where possible, remove them from high-threat environments altogether. Aled Catherall, defence & security technology lead at Plextek, considers whether technology has the ability to completely replace soldiers one day.

Downsized but modernised: why the world’s nuclear arsenals aren’t going anywhere

In June the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released its annual nuclear forces data showing that while the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world continues to decline, none of the nine nuclear weapon-possessing states are prepared to give up their nuclear arsenals for the foreseeable future. Claire Apthorp reports.

Inside the British Army’s new front-line field hospital

In November, the British Army wrapped up trials of its newest operational medical capability, a new modular Role 3 field hospital supplied by Marshall Aerospace and Defence. The new hospital, in addition to providing all the department expected of a conventional trauma hospital, also includes the ability to treat victims involved in chemical or biological attacks – a capability British field hospitals have never had before. Claire Apthorp reports.

Counterterrorism: trying to predict the future

In the fight against terrorism, defence and security agencies are turning to behaviour prediction software – but just how far can this technology go and will it ever be able to truly predict the unpredictable?

Anthrax: tracing and containing the threat

You might think it highly unlikely that live samples of anthrax could mistakenly find their way to 19 US states and, at the time of writing, four foreign countries – but that’s exactly what happened. So, how was this possible and what processes are in place to contain and control deadly bacteria?

The EMP threat: is enough being done?

An open letter to US President Barack Obama from the EMP Task Force has outlined that the US should, as an urgent requirement, address the threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack by protecting its critical infrastructure. So, how real is this threat and what are countries doing to counter it?

Sleep: key to understanding mental health problems in the military?

The importance of sleep in the armed forces is often forgotten, with early wake-up calls during basic training and the complexities of missions depriving members of healthy sleep. A study has found that such problems could predict the onset of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Gary Peters speaks to the researchers to find out more.