28 October 2006

Professor Paul Rogers on public domain sources

An important issue concerning the technical exhibits at the trial was the degree to which information could be found in the public domain.


Comments by Professor Paul Rogers

on :
three examples of public domain sources collected by
Dr Malcolm Dando.
Prepared for Dfax Agency Leeds


1. These three enclosed sources give an indication of sources of information available in the public domain on subjects relevant to the SMITH case.

2. R&D - MOD (Document 1) is a standard brochure designed to attract graduates into the Ministry of Defence Science Group and would be widely available at recruitment fairs, careers offices in universities or in response to enquiries following advertisements by the Ministry of Defence in careers directories and journals.

3. It gives “tasters” of the kind of work available within the MoD, and these go into sufficient detail to indicate to potential graduate employees that they would be involved in stimulating work in well-equipped environments.

4. It then gives a description of the main activities at the various research centres. This includes a section devoted entirely to the activities of the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment at Malvern in Worcestershire, some of which relate to the SMITH case. Specific mention is made of surface acoustic wave technology, silica wafer processing and thermal imaging technology.

5. The R&D - MOD document was produced in 1983 and published in 1984. At the very least it gives a clear indication of the major research and development interests within the MoD Science Group.

6. The Electronic Warfare (EW) Market outside the U.S. (Document 2) is an example of a Frost and Sullivan report on defence markets. Others in the series cover military reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare. The brochure for the report demonstrates the intensively competitive nature of this kind of military sales field. It is concerned specifically with the non-US market and is designed to help companies within and outside the United States maximise performance.

7. By assessing the activities of competing companies, it provides clear indications of market trends and aids companies in planning their future developments. Some indication of the intense competition in this field is indicated by the price of this report - $3,100 (plus postage and handling). It is not surprising that the defence industry is an activity ripe for commercial espionage.

8. Militronics - The international military electronics magazine (Document 3) is an example of one of the defence technology journals in the public domain. Note the references to image aids including thermal imaging (e.g. the Infrared Aiming Light on page 28 - with Reader Reply Card reference included).

9. The article on Litton’s ANVIS night vision aids gives considerable performance details including wavelength specifications and length of operational life. It specifically details the relevance of gallium arsenide technology:

“Gallium Arsenide Cathode Key to Improved Performance

The key to the dramatic performance improvements offered by the third-generation tube was the development of the gallium-arsenide photocathode, according to Albert Tien, Vice-President and Director of Engineering. Compared to second generation photo-cathodes which typically use tri-alkali materials, the new photocathode produces afar greater electronic current for a given level of input light radiation.

Production of the gallium arsenide units, however, is a painstaking process using highly advanced metal organic vapour phase epitaxy (MOVPE) technology. It grows single crystals of gallium arsenide compounds one atomic layer at a time and then seals the tubes at a vacuum equivalent to that of deep space.

The process begins by depositing five alternating layers of gallium arsenide and aluminium gallium arsenide on a 0.5 mm-thick gallium arsenide substrate. When this is completed, two different coatings are applied. The first is a silicon nitride to provide an anti-reflection coating; the second is a silicon oxide to make the gallium arsenide passive and less prone to contamination.”

10. Included in the journal is a full-page advertisement by Litton for ANVIS which invites the reader to send for further details from the company.

11. The detail given in this documentation illustrates, once again, the intensity of commercial competition in this field and the willingness of companies to provide technical details of processes. One is tempted to think that if SMITH had produced a hand-written version of the ANVIS statement with its production details, his notes would have been considered a security threat and accordingly classified.

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