NATO focuses on future of advanced technologies

  • 04 Oct. 2019 -
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  • Last updated: 04 Oct. 2019 15:28

Researchers from NATO member and partner nations discussed how advanced technologies can drive modernisation and innovation at a workshop organised by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme in Belgium on 17-18 September 2019.

Researchers from the SPS Multi Year Project SOCRATES during a datathon event in Spain in 2018.

Over 50 researchers involved in SPS activities gathered at the event hosted by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and exchanged know-how and results from over 25 ongoing and completed projects where advanced technologies are key to identifying adequate preventive measures and responses. “Advanced technologies are a topic that bridges NATO's past, present, and future,” said NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges Dr Antonio Missiroli at the launch of the Cluster Workshop on Advanced Technologies.

Identifying future trends

Disruptive technological advancements were the spark that started NATO’s involvement in science, and are still at the core of the Alliance’s commitment to promoting scientific cooperation,” explained Dr Deniz Beten, Senior NATO SPS and Partnership Cooperation Advisor. The event also offered a platform to brainstorm ideas and highlight future trends in four specific advanced technologies research areas: communication systems; innovative and advanced materials; sensors and detectors; and unmanned and autonomous systems.

Common trends highlighted efforts towards safer, reliable and secure communication and information networks, also using novel concepts such as quantum technology and the Internet of Things, and the development of more fit-for-purpose, durable and less expensive materials.

Researchers presented their achievements in creating more sensitive sensing and detection systems using state-of-the-art techniques. Discussions also focused on developments in the field of automation, in the integration of artificial intelligence and the design of unmanned vehicles capable of operating in multiple domains. Technological convergence – the integration of multiple research fields in the identification of the solution to a technological challenge – was seen as a growing need that SPS already helps to address.

Detecting threats to the electromagnetic space

Data collected by the sensors of the server developed under SPS Multi Year Project SOCRATES are used to monitor the electromagnetic spectrum and to detect potential intruders.
In a live simulation, researchers demonstrated how a system, developed under the SPS Multi Year Project SOCRATES, can detect and locate intruders in transmissions over broadly used radio frequencies. SOCRATES has wide applications for the protection of communications via the electromagnetic space, such as air traffic control systems, security and emergency services.

Demonstrating our project at the workshop was a great opportunity to discuss our achievements with other outstanding scientists working on SPS activities,” stated Sofie Pollin, project co-director and Professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

To conclude the event, Dr Claudio Palestini, SPS Advisor, stated, “SPS helps to push the boundaries of security-relevant advanced technologies for civilian use. The impact on security of our scientists’ research ranges from enhanced prevention of cyber attacks, faster response times in emergencies and better protection of critical infrastructure in urban and maritime contexts, to more efficient detection of potential threats using sensors, radars, or unmanned and autonomous systems.”