Armed services representatives in meetings with the University

gruppbild på Ångströmlaboratoriet

Meeting at the Ångström Laboratory between researchers at the Faculty of Science and Technology and representatives from MSB and FOI. Photo: Bildbyrån

During the autumn, Uppsala University has hosted visits from representatives for Sweden’s total defence and military defence. In addition to tours of our campuses, researchers at the Faculty of Science and Technology gave presentations.

Earlier in the spring, representatives of the Swedish Army and Air Force visited the University following an invitation from the Faculty of Science and Technology. During the autumn, other representatives of Sweden’s armed services met with researchers and representatives at the same faculty. The meetings were about continuing to communicate and remaining open to conceivable new collaborations, says Charlotte Platzer Björkman, Vice-rector at the Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology.

“It’s important for us to have good dialogue and collaboration in general with businesses, public authorities and organisations. Now that there is a great need to strengthen Sweden’s total defence, it goes without saying that we are developing our dialogue in this area as well. We already have collaborations in research and education, and through these dialogues we increase our understanding of the needs and opportunities that exist to broaden this collaboration.”

Collaborating in a more structured way

Jens Mattsson, Director General of the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), also emphasises the good potential for collaboration. In October, he and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) met with representatives of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Ångström Laboratory.

portrait of Jens Mattsson

Jens Mattsson, Director General of the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI). Photo: Bildbyrån

FOI has already worked with the University in various research projects, but Jens Mattsson is keen to see a more structured collaboration in the future.

“We need to understand future trends in technology, and the impacts of the development of new technologies and systems on the defence sector. FOI strives from broad, and well-balanced competence in its sphere of activities, and the Faculty of Science and Technology really has this in a way and at a level that is impressive.”

Measurement data of interest to the Navy

In a meeting with the Swedish Navy, seismologist Björn Lund of the Department of Earth Sciences presented the Swedish National Seismic Network, which is based in Uppsala. This monitoring system collects real-time data from its own 67 permanent measurement stations in Sweden and can assist with monitoring seismic sources in the marine environment around Sweden.

Björn Lund sitter och fixar med labbutrustning

Björn Lund studying a seismic sensor in a laboratory at the Department of Earth Sciences. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

“So far, discussions with the Navy are only being conducted on a general level,” says Björn Lund. “But in the future, it should be possible to share data in a way that could prove very useful to them. Looking at the last twenty years of seismic observations, there is a lot of data that most likely come from blasting in the Baltic Sea, and there we could assist the Swedish Armed Forces with more information.”

New measurement options via cable systems

Today’s seismic sensors can’t be installed offshore, only onshore. But the solution may lie in a new technology, according to Björn Lund.

“We are currently conducting a research project using a technique that measures reflections in fibre-optic cables. If this kind of technology is applied to marine cables, it could give us similar information to that we obtain from seismic sensors.”

Anneli Björkman

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