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Limerick company helping British army track its soldiers


British soldiers on a training exercise

British soldiers on a training exercise

British soldiers on a training exercise

A Limerick company has won a contract with the UK's Ministry of Defence to build a minute, state-of-the-art GPS tracking device that can be stitched into soldiers' clothing.

The device will be far more accurate than normal GPS units and can locate a person or object within millimetres, anywhere in the world. A prototype is underway which, if successful, should turn into a multi-million order.

The company behind the concept is Arralis, which has offices in Belfast and Limerick.

Its technology works by accessing a vast array of satellites, including those owned by the US and Russia as well as Europe. Most GPS systems can only access one satellite.

"The key thing for the Ministry of Defence is that the product is wearable," said chief executive Barry Lunn. "But they can also use it to track their inventory. It is a fantastic deal for us - the MoD is a key strategic customer who we have not worked with before. They have a big budget and are investing in exciting new technology."

The commercial opportunities the product holds are equally exciting, he added.

"There are so many applications for this type of location technology - everything from the auto industry to drone delivery."

The European Space Agency is another of Arralis's other clients. The company has also has worked with customers in China, Russia, the US and Israel as well as the United Kingdom.

Arralis was co-founded in 2013 by product designer Lund and Mike Gleaves, a former RAF radar engineer.

Investors include Enterprise Ireland, Kernel Capital and ACT Venture Capital.

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