ROMSEY, England, October 18, 2016

Roke Awarded Contract to Test Artificial Intelligence for the Royal Navy

Roke Manor Research (Roke) is set to demonstrate its cutting edge artificial intelligence software in a Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) sponsored maritime combat system demonstrator, as part of a third phase of work awarded by Dstl.

The new bio-inspired software is designed to help the Royal Navy quickly monitor and prioritise potential threats while at sea.

Aptly named STARTLE, the software uses sophisticated machine situational awareness algorithms that emulate the human fear response mechanism, helping operators understand the complex situations increasingly typical of modern warfare.

Mike Hook, lead software architect on STARTLE at Roke, said: "This is an exciting project for us. Traditional methods of processing data can be inefficient so we have looked at the human brain's tried and tested means of detecting and assessing threats to help us design a better way to do it. The techniques have the potential to benefit the Royal Navy.

"The first two phases of the project have proven that we've been able to successfully apply these techniques to real data from complex scenarios. The clever part comes in the way these potential threats are detected and the way our software redistributes resources to decide if they are real - all in the blink of an eye."

David Cole, Managing Director of Roke said: "The project draws upon every element of Roke's 60 years of experience in sensors, data science, communications and cyber security. Innovations such as these build real momentum for our clients, enabling the pull through of research into operational capability."

In this phase, Roke will demonstrate the STARTLE techniques by integrating them into the Open Architecture Combat System - OACS, a demonstrator designed to show the utility of research ideas in a representative combat system.

In addition to maritime defence systems, STARTLE can also be adapted for autonomous vehicles, health and usage monitoring applications - more information is available here.

A graphic detailing how STARTLE works is available at the following link:

About Roke

Roke Manor Research is a world-class electronics engineering consultancy based in Romsey, Hampshireand owned by the Chemring Group.  

Trusted by government and industrial partners worldwide, it delivers technology-based research and development services, provides independent advice and solves technically challenging problems.

The team of over 365 staff at Roke are working on over 400 innovative engineering projects at any one time.  The work and therefore the team continue to grow, with the company currently recruiting for more than 15 roles.  

For further information, visit:

About Chemring Group

Chemring Group is a market-leading manufacturer supplying high-technology electronics and energetic products to over fifty countries around the world.  Chemring has a diverse portfolio of products that predominantly protect military personnel and platforms, providing insurance against a constantly changing threat.  These range from countermeasures that protect aircraft, to ground penetrating radar that protect troops and vehicles from improvised explosive devices. 

CONTACT: Lindsay Compton, M: +44 (0)7872 407589, T: +44(0)1794 833205,

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