The UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has allocated £7m for the development of a new Electromagnetic Environment (EME) Hub for the defence forces.

The new centre will be handled by a team of academics, led by Loughborough University, which will work together with local industry partners to drive innovation in electromagnetic activities.

The academic consortium includes Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Leeds, Queen Mary University of London, and the University of Glasgow. 

The academic partners will be supported by prime contractors, including BAE Systems, Hensoldt UK, CENSIS, Leonardo, Kromek Group, MDBA Missile Systems, QinetiQ, and the National Physical Laboratory.

For the initial operating capability, the work will involve the participation of five post-doctoral researchers, a Hub management team, and approximately 17 PhD students.

The EME hub will be a critical capability and will support various defence operations in contested environments. EME will help the country in safeguarding and sustaining national capabilities while providing countermeasures to deter emerging threats.

However, one of the main issues for the Dstl is to manage the challenges of ‘maintaining freedom of manoeuvre’ in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Through this hub, the Dstl aims to develop ‘generation-after-next capability’ that will support the wireless delivery of offensive and defensive effects.

It will further help in degrading, deterring, destroying, and disrupting the impact of all such effects.

Work will also focus on the coordination and synchronisation of other wireless activities in different assets deployed for multi-domain missions including air, space, land, sea, cyber, and electromagnetic.

Dstl chief executive Dr Paul Hollinshead said: “It’s a privilege to announce this new investment during British Science Week. The EME Hub brings together the best minds working in the electromagnetic environment from industry and academia with the drive and leadership from government.”