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Research Projects

Terma prioritizes research and development. On this site, you can learn more about the research projects Terma is involved in.


Current Research Projects

The FastTrack project is a Societal Partnership partly funded by Innovation Fund Denmark, where partners from industry, GTS companies, and academia aim at leveraging the possibilities of advanced materials and surface solutions in new products. As something completely new, the collaboration model will use industrial project managers leading cross-organizational mini-projects – called Fast Tracks – staffed by the best specialists from all the involved partners.

A professional management team ensures that the different FastTracks are staffed with the necessary core competences, solving multidisciplinary material related problems. Access to relevant analysis equipment will be ensured, including synchrotron radiation and neutron scattering when needed.

Terma is currently involved in a FastTrack regarding wind load calculations. The market development within antennas is going in the direction of larger and more lightweight antennas especially for naval installations. In order to meet these demands, the need for weight reduction is imperative. With Terma’s long history and strong knowledge within composite aircraft structures the design of composite antennas is an obvious path forward to accommodate the requirement for lighter antennas. Therefore, it is mandatory to improve the load calculations to get a better coverage of the actual loads seen by the antenna during the antenna lifetime before larger light weight antenna designs are initiated.

The project participants are: Terma, Siemens Wind Power A/S, Elplatek, Hempel, Technical University of Denmark (MSE), Aalborg University, Danish Technological Institute, and FORCE Technology.

Read more (in Danish)


The prospect for drones is amazing, but currently, the regulation of UAS operations are limited to flying within Visual Line of Sight (VLOS), however, the potential can only become real if Beyond VLOS (B-VLOS) can be permitted, and that requires a number of research objectives to be completed before the safety case and airworthiness of drones can be successfully assessed.

“Free the Drones” (FreeD) is a research project partly funded by Innovation Fund Denmark, where a team of private and public researchers in the fields of radar, electronics, robotics, and artificial intelligence from Terma, DELTA, University of Southern Denmark (SDU), and Oxford will use state-of-the-art research in automation, computer vision, and bio-inspired robotics, to develop technologies derived from regulatory safety-case assessments and mission certification requirements.

Regarding safety, the project will build on aviation safety through interaction with a consortium of partners including the Danish Transport and Construction Agency, Naviair, and HCA Airport/UAS Test Center Denmark.

Read more (in Danish)

Read more (in Danish)


The usage of advanced composite materials based on glass and in particular carbon fiber is subject to more and more attention in a number of industries. In particular, the aerospace and wind mill industries are using the materials, but the usage is also increasing in automotive and oil and gas industries.

At Terma Aerostructures, they use pre-cut fiber plies, which are placed on a mold. The plies consist of pre-impregnated fibers placed in a matrix resin and typically have a thickness of 0.1 - 0.2 mm. They are placed layer by layer until the desired geometry is achieved.

The manufacturing of products based on these materials is however challenged by lack of automatized production methods, and therefore the production is still manual. The high salary costs in Denmark therefore challenges the competitiveness in this new industry.

The FlexDraper project will address this problem through automation. The goal of FlexDraper is to develop a novel type of automation where layup of fiber plies and the resulting form creation is carried out by a robotic system. This leads to high demands to the mechanical design of the robot system and in particular the tool for draping the plies onto the mold. There are also high demands on the ability to model the layup process and to be able to use the models to predict the trajectories of the robotic system. Furthermore, the system must be able to handle flaws (e.g. undesired wrinkles) by detecting these with computer vision and so that the robot system automatically learns to correct the layup so that the flaws disappears.

Read more


Classification of Targets in Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging

This Industrial PhD project addresses the need to develop methods for object classification on images from different image modalities. The main focus will be to investigate how modern computer vision algorithms can be adapted and applied to object recognition in Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery.

SAR imaging is, as opposed to regular image capturing techniques, quite robust to varying conditions, e.g. time-of-day as well as harsh weather conditions. Using SAR images for object classification purposes, this invariance removes many difficulties, but introduces new challenges, e.g. that the object appearance in the image potentially changes radically with the orientation of the object on the ground and the angle towards the airborne sensor, and also, the radar images are distorted by speckle noise.

As a primary source of data, we will use airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data for recognition of targets. We will be concerned with the case where objects have been identified giving an approximate spatial position and a subsequent SAR spot light mode has been used to acquire a high resolution SAR image of the object to be identified. The classification may be composed of matching to an entry in a database or a classification into an object category learned from training data. 


Surveillance Radar Tracking and Target Classification using Knowledge-based Methods
This Industrial Ph.D project addresses the need to develop methods for target classification from track information available from modern surveillance radars. In contrast to highly complex military radars, for example Active Electronically Scanned Arrays or Synthetic Aperture Radars, radar imagery is not available for use in more conventional pattern matching, and methods must be developed based on other attributes. The data available from SAR radars are most often based on space-borne radars which are very different in terms of performance and attributes from surface based surveillance radars. Classification of targets is of importance both directly and indirectly. Directly, a track classification provides a user directly with tracks augmented with a target class for aid in setting automated alarms etc. Indirectly, a target class assists tracker performance through the ability to adaptively change tracking parameters to match the optimum tracking parameters for given target types.

The overall aim of the PhD project is to provide radar users with an enhanced situational awareness by performing real-time, high-resolution target tracking and classification. Specifically, the amount of knowledge extracted from the radar sensor is increased through added capabilities in sensor processing. An advanced radar tracker is developed, which converts the radar images to a number of observations (plots) and detects and tracks targets from the plots by combining association logic with kinematic and feature target estimators on the observed stream of radar plots. By adding further logic and knowledge to the radar sensor, the track data can be augmented to supply additional information to the track data user, thereby improving the situational awareness.

Read more here


Previous Research Projects

Modelling of Sensor-Fusion in a Surveillance System using System-of-Systems Techniques
The aim of this industrial postdoc project is to manage the complexity of sensor-fusion with third-party sensor-networks that are not always accessible. Executable models of the surveillance system will be analysed to validate the dynamic sensor-fusion algorithms.

The expected outcome of the industrial postdoc is a model that allows numerical analysis of the sensor-fusion algorithms, as well as a 3D view of the installed surveillance system showing e.g. sensor coverage. In addition, methodological guidelines for modelling sensor-fusion in a dynamic sensor-network will be described.

Read more here (in Danish only).


Industrial Technology and Software
Terma is part of a project under the Confederation of Danish Industry with funding from the Danish Industry Foundation. The aim of the project is to strengthen Danish engineers’ competences across segments, e.g. systems engineering and embedded systems. The research project is part of a 4 year program. Terma supports the project with a research case within Critical Infrastructure Protection. Focus is on two aspects, namely the Systems Engineering discipline applied to the solution and formal modeling of the system and surrounding environment in its entirety. 



The Galileo Platform – Improving Positioning Indoors and Outdoors
Terma Space has just finalized a Galileo-related research project funded by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation. The IT- and telecommunication project focuses on developing a toolbox for positioning solutions across indoor and outdoor environments. The toolbox contains software components, hardware receivers and business models. The toolbox has been published in more than 30 international publications, and six Ph.D. theses.

The total budget of the research project is 48 MDKK.

Read more here.


DaNES – Technology with Embedded Intelligence
Terma Space has participated in a research project that focuses on developing the field of embedded intelligent systems across sectors. The project was funded by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation. At present, the model based approach has led to a more precise and less conservative time analysis of Terma’s satellite software.

The total budget of the research project is 69 MDKK.

The project has been featured in a program on Danish Broadcast – see the program here (in Danish only).

Read more about the project here.


Solid-state Power Amplifiers
Terma is co-funding a Ph.D. project in collaboration with DTU Electromagnetic Systems (Technical University of Denmark) within the area of high-power solid-state microwave amplifiers. The aim of the Ph.D. project is theoretical modeling and design of prototypes of high-power amplifiers for use in X-band radar transmitters as alternative to magnetrons or tube based amplifiers. The Ph.D. project started in 2009 and will end mid-2012.

Read more here.


Development Process for Multi-Disciplinary Embedded Control Systems
The industrial Ph.D. project "Development Process for Multi-Disciplinary Embedded Control Systems" aims at creating a methodology describing how the model-driven development ideology fits into existing and well proven classic development methods. The methodology will describe how the complete system should be divided into the continuous-time and discrete-event domains. It is the goal to create a golden reference to be used when using co-simulation of system-level models during the development of embedded systems.
As part of the project the simulator named ViEWS (Virtual Electronic Warfare Simulator) is being build. This simulator enables Electronic Warfare specialists to setup countermeasure patterns and try these against incoming threats of different types fired from different angles.

Read more here.


Martin Løkke Nielsen
Vice President, Programs & Products
T: +45 8743 6542
E: mln@terma.com