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Local MP makes fact finding trip to QinetiQ facility

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: 01 February, 2013  (Company News)
The UK Minister for Universities and Science has found out about the advanced defence and security technologies offered by local company QinetiQ

Leo Quinn, CEO of QinetiQ, recently hosted a visit by David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, to the company’s headquarters in Farnborough.
Mr Willetts was on a fact finding visit to the British FTSE 250 defence and security company to understand QinetiQ’s ‘know how’, and meet with various scientists and leaders from across the company to gain a better understanding of the commercialisation of intellectual property (IP). He was also particularly interested in developments within the digital cyber market, a particular area of QinetiQ expertise.
The tour took in such exciting developments as advances in space exploration by using ion engines; electric drive technologies for combat vehicles and Optasense, a British technology which has significant export potential.
OptaSense has been designed to specifically meet the challenges associated with monitoring any third party intrusions such as illegal ‘hot tapping’ along the length of oil or gas pipelines. The solution is known as Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS).
DAS uses cutting edge technology to convert fibre optic cable into ‘microphones’ or sensors dispersed along the length of the cable between 1m and 15m apart up to 50km.
From one location therefore operators using OptaSense® can monitor 100km of a pipeline by ‘creating’ 10,000 sensors instantaneously without the need to conduct any in-field operations.
Applications for the technology range from preventing hot tapping on oil pipelines to detecting unauthorised people on railways and the system has been proven to prevent incidents from occurring, not just detecting them.
Mr Willetts heard that the OptaSense DAS solution is being used around the world to protect a number of critical national assets to prevent damaging incidents from occurring.
David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said, “Cyber security and defence are areas that rely on the latest technology and leading expertise to stay ahead of the game. It’s excellent to see companies like QinetiQ turning their research into cutting edge, marketable products.”
Leo Quinn said after the visit “I was delighted to meet with David Willetts and be able to introduce him to some of our young engineers, apprentices and graduates as well as look more closely at specific growth areas including our ground breaking OptaSense technology. I was able to show him how QinetiQ is a forward looking company built around the intellectual capital of our ‘people who know how’, and where commercial collaboration can assist in opening markets to UK IP.”

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