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INNOVATION UK45 A vision for a " greener" future is challenging MOD to reduce dependency on fossil fuels while delivering the power needed to equip the Armed Forces, run equip-ment, provide transportation and run essential services, such as food and communications across land, sea and air. MOD needs secure, independent fuel supplies that can be maintained and are not vulnerable to interference or coercion by enemy or economic forces. Fuel supply is essential in military operations, directly powering vehicles, ships and aircraft. Fuel is also used to generate electricity where there is no reliable supply, for example at Forward Operating Bases ( FOBs), which are temporary camps that provide logistical support, shelter and prepare troops for combat in hostile areas. Currently, power comes from diesel generators, that are kept supplied using convoys travelling at risk from hos-tile action and open to other threats such as deliberate denial and conflict over supply. " MOD accounts for around 1% of UK CO 2 production" MOD Climate Change Strategy, Dec 2008, www. mod. uk Added to this, MOD has sustainable development and climate change strategies ( available for download at www. mod. uk) that aim to reduce dependency on fos-sil, reduce environmental impact and still support an effective fighting force. MOD also recognises that the financial pressures that lead to fluctuating fuel prices mean that it is crucial to develop ways to reduce demand for power and create alternative sources of energy. If fuel could be generated in- situ there would be multiple ben-efits including reduced cost and risk to life. MOD chalenge to industry This year, a challenge was issued to industry and academia as part of MOD's Defence Technology Plan. Capability Visions ( CVs) are looking for innovative solutions that will address long- term defence challenges in specific areas. The Capability Vision Reducing Operational Depend-ency on Fossil Fuels seeks to identify defence- specific challenges and opportunities for minimising the reliance of the military on fossil fuels. The underpinning technol-ogy will probably come from the commercial sector, with MOD looking at military specific aspects including: » » Hydrogen Storage For Military Systems; » » Robust Fuel Cells; » » In- situ Energy Generation; » » In- situ Fuel Generation; » » Hybridisation; » » More Efficient Engines; » » Exploitation Of Biofuels In Defence. As part of this vision, " the self sustaining FOB" challenge offers opportunities for ideas that could lead to energy self- sufficiency with the capacity to recharge the electric and plug- in vehicles of the future. Innovations are being encouraged in renewable sources including wind, solar and geothermal as well as methods that will better man-age existing power infrastructure, produce hydrocarbon fuels from local sources and photosynthetics. Defence technology Ministry of Defence ( MOD) shows its commitment to a greener future and challenges industry to develop ideas to help support the Armed Forces and the environment at www. science. mod. uk LEFT: The Defence Technology Plan was launched in February 2009 by the Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies. This includes MOD's Capability Visions which looks for solutions to long- term defence requirements Environment defence technology & inovation centre

46INNOVATION UK " Fuel accounted for 2.5% of the 2008/ 09 Defence Budget" MOD Annual Report and Account 2008/ 9 Another area where MOD has issued a specific chal-lenge is in the Future Protected Vehicle Capability Vision which is looking for a vehicle that will provide the protec-tion, mobility and firepower of a 70- tonne Main Battle Tank along with the carrying capacity of an Armoured Fighting Vehicle but weighing less than 30 tonnes. As well as greater fuel efficiency ( reducing the logistical sup-port needs), new technologies allow novel approaches to design such as hybrid electric- drive hub motors that could provide very large wheel articulation to improve underbody survivability. MOD is also asking for ideas for Reducing the Burden on the Dismounted Soldier. Troops carry a huge weight bur-den which includes body armour, communications, IT, batteries and other essential equipment. MOD is look-ing for innovation to " lighten the load" but maintain or increase the level of physical protection and other areas of performance. Presently an individual soldier may carry over 70kg on operations and it is hoped that this may be reduced to around 25kg by looking at areas including: » » High- power batteries and super capacitors; » » Novel fuel cells; » » E- textiles; » » Kinetic energy harvesting. ABOVE: MOD's Capability Visions seeks significant changes to address key long- term defence challenges. ABOVE: Capability Visions encourages fresh thinking from new and existing suppliers. Environment defence technology & inovation centre