Swedish Defence Research Agency (Swedish: Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, FOI) is a government agency in Sweden for defence research that reports to the Ministry of Defence The activities of FOI include research, development of technology and analysis, primarily for military defence, but also for civil emergency, security and other civilian applications.
Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) has experts in many fields of application, such as security policy studies and analyses of defence and security, assessments of various types of threats, systems for crisis leadership and management, protection against and management of hazardous substances, IT security and the opportunities provided by new sensors.
FOI has experts in many fields of application, such as security policy studies and analyses of defence and security, assessments of various types of threats, systems for crisis leadership and management, protection against and management of hazardous substances, IT security and the opportunities provided by new sensors.
They conduct research in many areas including:
- Measurement of and protection against the emission of CBRN substances. They also have one of the few security classified CBRN laboratories in Europe that is licensed to receive and examine all types of hazardous substances.
- Protection and detection of explosive substances
- Reading underwater signatures on ships in brackish and coastal waters.
- Constructing models of turbulent flows, such as air currents around aircraft or underwater currents.
- Designing models and tools to adapt society to the consequences of climate change.
- Strategic and security policy analyses within a large number of geographic areas, such as Asia and Africa, as well as thematic analyses, such as emergency preparedness, the economy and the climate.
- Long-term research on IT security and human system interaction.
Some of the notable research areas are
High power Microwave directed energy weapons
HPM directed energy weapons use high power microwaves to disrupt, degrade or destroy adversaries electronic systems such as radars and communication systems. FOI has done research on many HPM DEW systems including repetitive Marx generator, Axial and coaxial vircator.
World-leading technology for detection of nuclear weapons tests
FOI now has the most highly-developed leading-edge technology for the detection of nuclear weapons tests. The prototype SAUNA III was developed by FOI and has now been handed over to the CTBTO, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation.
“The new technology in SAUNA III increases the precision and speed of verification, which directly increases the possibility of clarifying that a weapons test has occurred, and by whom,” says Anders Ringbom, researcher and Swedish contact person for the CTBTO.
The SAUNA system is based on the analysis of xenon, a gas that is produced in all nuclear weapons tests. The system draws in large quantities of air and detects extremely small amounts of the gas with great precision.
FOI is also the Swedish national data centre for processing data from, for example, seismic detectors and measurements of radioactive particles. FOI continually develops new methods, and is increasingly moving towards integrated models that use data from several different types of detectors
“FOI is successively building up its competence in sensors that both strengthen the Armed Forces and help the emergency services. Since the users – those who actually stand on the rubble – participate in the development work, early feedback can create a realistic overview,” says Gustav Tolt, senior scientist at the Division of C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), in Linköping.
It involves, among other things, simulating buildings that have been demolished by earthquakes, or explosions, to see how they have collapsed, and where it is best to proceed into hollow spaces, and find out how survivors can be found. The emphasis is on research and development, but it is not so much about developing products, primarily, as investigating which technological opportunities may lead to increased societal usefulness.
“There has been rapid technical development with regard to, for example, the size of sensors and their possibilities for collecting data at ever-increasing rates and with greater range, as well as, of course, that they can be used together with other equipment, such as aerial drones,” says Gustav Tolt.
“FOI has undertaken 3D mapping with high-resolution laser scanners to create highly detailed 3D models of buildings. Another test deals with using vibration-sensitive detectors to discover tapping sounds coming from rubble, yet another successful and appreciated contribution of FOI,” relates Gustav Tolt.
Other participants have developed a snake-like robot with several on-board sensors that can enter into hollow spaces. Another contribution involves methods for homing in on mobile telephones in debris. Several participants have constructed an electronic “nose,” which can detect, among other things, elevated levels of carbon dioxide, low levels of oxygen, and flammable gases.
A three-year research project, commissioned by the Armed Forces, has investigated the design and performance of future laser-based 3D-imaging systems. This involves different military applications, such as target recognition, local operational awareness, and mission planning. The final report, published last spring, describes, among other things, the possibilities for retrieving 3D laser scanning with the assistance of drones. In addition, experimental systems for so-called photon-counting laser radar have been investigated. These can measure extremely weak signal levels, which can be an advantage for avoiding risks during sweeping. Additional results involve the number of measuring points required, for example, in identifying an object such as a vehicle, and for more detailed information, such as the vehicle model.