The Mugglehead technology roundup: global defense edition

It’s been thirty years since Jack Nicholson gave his famous Men With Guns speech at the climax of A Few Good Men, and while at the time it was used to demonstrate the foibles of the character and provide the emotional kick of the movie, it wasn’t always viewed that way by others. Especially those folks in the crux of a military or otherwise defense-related career.

For them, Jack Nicholson’s character was dead serious and explaining something to a civilian that said civvy could never understand, being a soft military lawyer who had never seen combat.

But defense and security is more than just boots on the ground. It’s satellite technology and aircraft. It’s mission-critical communications systems connecting multiple different locales and keeping participants informed of movements and actions and changes in the environment. It’s alternative armament and less-than-lethal options for self-defense in touchy situations where standard deployment of arms could jeopardize greater geopolitical goals.

Here are five companies working hard to keep us safe.

This ain’t your Daddy’s air show


Ansys’ (NASDAQ:ANSS) will be providing a demonstration at the Famborough International Airshow from July 18-22 in Hampshire, England, highlighting how simulations enable cost-effective solutions.

These aren’t the kind of recreational air shows you take your kids to ooh and aah as an old retired fighter pilot squeezes a few extra hours out of a refurbished F-16. This is a trade show where companies and governments gather to see what’s new and exciting, and get a glimpse of the next generation of the aerospace and defense industry.

In this case, Ansys will be showing up with 1,500 exhibitors at the airshow to show how its simulation portfolio pushes the industry forward in both fundamental and emerging areas, while reducing physical prototype costs, design errors and risk.

“At Electroflight, Ansys’ simulation enabled our engineers to optimize a 425kg battery pack to operate with 90% energy efficiency through structural analyses, thermal management, and best-choice materials selection. By integrating Ansys’ multiphysics simulation solutions in this way, we continue to develop efficient and sustainable aircraft by balancing energy consumption, propulsion, and lift,” said Douglas Campbell, technical director at Electroflight.

Ansys has been around for more than five decades, and in that time the company’s software has allowed industries to push boundaries through careful use of simulations. Industries involved range from advanced semiconductors to sustainable transportation, as well as from satellite systems to medical devices.

Experts will be deployed to demonstrate the benefits of simulation through strategic defense capabilities, next-generation space exploration, workforce advancement with expert training, as well as safe and sustainable aviation.

The company’s materials properties database and selection tools support efficiency by enabling the selection of sustainable materials from the beginning of design. Ansys also supports aviation cybersecurity through embedded control software which helps ensure safe aircraft systems, while decreasing the risk of cyberattacks.

“Ansys is propelling digital transformation across the A&D industry by providing top-tier solutions that include simulation tools, advanced solvers, and purpose-built simulation process and data management that address a vast range of needs, including embedded software and digital mission engineering applications,” said Walt Hearn, vice president of global sales and customer excellence at Ansys. “We are honored to participate in the Farnborough International Airshow to exhibit Ansys’ world-class solutions so that more organizations can benefit from our leading technologies.”

Ansys is up $6.21 and closed at $240.61.

Home defense and blunt impact go hand in hand


Byrna Technologies (NASDAQ:BYRN) sold the IP and tooling underlying its 40mm business to Facta Global of Canada for an undisclosed mix of cash and future royalties on all 40mm blunt impact profiles (BIP) sold globally. Byrna will keep the rights to sell the 40mm BIP in the United States and South Africa.

The company suspended sales nearly a year ago owing to production problems at its third-party contract manufacturer, Micron Systems. Since July of last year, Byrna has not been able to keep up with demand from its prior 40mm customers.

“I could not be happier to see Facta Global take over production of the BIP.  They have been a great partner over many years, and no one has more experience with the 40mm BIP than Facta Global.  This is truly a win-win situation in which Byrna gets a steady reliable supply of 40mm BIPs for its law enforcement customers and Facta Global get the rights to what is arguably the best 40mm technology on the market today.  With law enforcement being 100% of Facta’s business and only a few percent of Byrna’s business, it makes sense for Facta to acquire ownership of the BIP.  At the same time, Byrna gets an asset off its balance sheet that it was not using and in return gets a lump sum cash payment and a steady stream of royalty income for the next eight years,” said Bryan Ganz, CEO of Byrna.

Byrna specializes in developing, manufacturing and selling non-lethal personal security solutions. It manufactures the Byrna SD personal security device, a handheld CO2 powered launcher designed as a non-lethal alternative to firearms. The device is intended for the consumer, private security and law enforcement markets.

With the sale of the tooling and intellectual property to Facta Global, the BIP is back in production (at Facta Global’s production facility) and Byrna will be able to start supplying its iconic 40mm “BIP” to its law enforcement customers throughout the United States as soon as July.  The reintroduction of the Byrna BIP, coupled with Byrna’s recent acquisition of Fox Labs (the manufacturer of the most powerful pepper spray for law enforcement) and the introduction of the Byrna’s tactical compact rifle (TCR), fills out Byrna’s offerings for less than lethal products used and made specifically for law enforcement.

After the sale of the tooling and IP to Facta, the BIP will be back in production at Facta Global’s production facility, and Byrna will start supplying its 40mm BIP to law enforcement customers throughout the United States this month. The reintroduction of Byrna’s BIP, accompanied by the company’s recent acquisition of Fox Labs (which manufactures pepper spray for law enforcement) as well as the introduction of Byrna’s TCR.

Shares rose $0.03 today and closed at $8.23.

Senstar recognized as key perimeter intrusion protector


Senstar Technologies (NASDAQ:SNT) announced that their Senstar brand was named one of the top five perimeter intrusion brands, according to a reader survey conducted by earlier this year.

Senstar’s perimeter-focused technologies aren’t just surveillance cameras, but instead include fence, buried and above-ground sensors, and an operating platform involving video and security and management, as well as video analytics and access control. The company has also recently added a sensor fusion engine as part of the platform.

“The purpose of the survey was to identify the brands that are ‘top of mind’ for the security industry and the features they value the most. For this, we reached out to our readers, mostly based in Asia, who represent the security distribution channel from distributors and resellers to integrators. The survey reveals that the line between brands and product groups is fading. Decades ago, a company might have been limited to a field like surveillance or intrusion detection. But today, companies can combine different technologies for a diverse solution portfolio to address key security requirements. Channel players place detection accuracy as a top priority and want to integrate their intrusion detection systems with VMS and analytics. They look forward to using artificial intelligence to increase accuracy and reduce false alarms,” said Emily Lin, editor-in-chief of

Senstar Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Senstar Technologies. It provides multiple security solutions for various verticals such as perimeter-intrusion detection, video surveillance management systems (VMS) and electronic access control analytics (EAC). The company has been around for four decades, and it claims the key to its longevity and success has been the ability to deliver security and risk management solutions backed by deep industry knowledge and world-class support.

The other companies are as follows:



“As the only company on the Top 5 list that is not a camera manufacturer and with a broad range of security technologies, Senstar is proud to be recognized by the industry as a trusted company in perimeter protection,” s1aid Fabren Haubert, Senstar managing director.

Senstar shares are down $0.07 and trading at $1.78.

Communication is the key to any successful security operation


Haivision Systems (TSX:HAI) released a visual collaboration platform for extended operations and command and control environments called the Haivision Command 360.

The Command 360 platform provides real-time decision making for response teams by centralizing all feeds, be it video, data, communication and visualization components, into a secure multi-site video wall solution.

“The release of Command 360 is a major milestone for our company. This disruptive platform delivers real-time information to empower informed, mission-critical decisions. Command 360 embodies Haivision’s approach to security, scalability, real-time performance, and unmatched reliability,” said Mirko Wicha, president and CEO of Haivision.

Founded in 2004, Montreal-based Haivision delivers mission-critical, real-time video streaming, networking and visual collaboration solutions. The company uses the cloud and related communications technologies to engage audiences, help collaborations, and support decision stronger decision making. It also has offices in Chicago, and receives sales and support throughout hte Americas, Europe and Asia.

The impetus on operational readiness is on communication. Today defense, government and public safety organizations are under considerable pressure to collaborate across multiple geographical locations. Command 360 is designed to meet this need by scaling horizontally from a central operations center in support of remote or portable systems, but also vertically to include multiple geographical locations with no performance deficits.

“Customers want a visual collaboration platform that’s quick to set up and deploy but must also provide the flexibility to scale. With Command 360, we created a browser-based solution that’s incredibly easy to set up and can be integrated to provide end users with a streamlined operational workflow almost immediately. Unlike anything else on the market, users also have unlimited multi-site and remote scalability capabilities enabling them to quickly and easily incorporate geographically distributed systems and remote teams within a single platform,” said Mahmoud Al-Daccak, CTO of Haivision.

Command 360 is the first major new release from Haivision’s acquisition of Haivision MCS (formerly known as CineMassive Displays), displaying the successful amalgamation of the company and its key product, tech and sales synergies. The Command 360 system is years in the making, part of an advanced visualization experience from the most demanding environments including combat command centers, global security operations, cybersecurity response, network operations centers, as well as real time crime centers and joint emergency response centers.

Shares rose by a penny today, and closed at $5.21.

Satellite communications are the next stage in defense


MDA (TSX:MDA) pulled in a contract from York Space Systems to design and build Ka-Band steerable antennas for York’s satellites.

MDA’s technology has been used in more than 350 satellite missions to date, including over 2,000 antenna subsystems and 3,000 electronic subsystems on 850 satellites presently in orbit. The antennas will be built at MDA’s production facility in Montreal.

“We’re excited to establish this new relationship for satellite systems with York Space Systems to support important space security and communications constellations. This contract represents another opportunity to demonstrate MDA’s best-in-class satellite design and manufacturing capabilities for a US-based prime contractor,” said Mike Greenley, CEO of MDA.

MDA is an international space mission partner into robotics, satellite systems and geointellligence, with over five decades of experience. The company sports over 2,400 staff across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, and has been chasing lofty goals once thought securely the realm of science fiction. These include viable moon colonies, enhanced Earth observation, stronger global communications, and plenty more.

Geointelligence, also known as geospatial intelligence, is intelligence about human activity on earth taken from imagery analysis and geospatial information that describes, analyzes and visually represents physical features and geographically referenced activities on the earth. GEOINT, as the United States calls it, is a mix of imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information.

At a glance:

  • 140,000,000 km² — The amount of the Earth’s surface the company has imaged
  • 2 mm — The level at which their tech can detect topographical changes
  • 10 minutes — The time it takes to process/analyze raw satellite data into usable information
  • 500 km — The widest imaging swath on the market

A few of MDA’s prior wins in the geointelligence field include RADARSAT-1, which is Canada’s first commercial Earth observation satellite. The company launched RADARSAT-2 in 2007, which has produced more than 75,000 images per year, and finally in 2019, the company deployed the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, using its three-satellite configuration for all condition coverage.

Shares rose $0.10 to close at $7.50.

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