Man on a Mission – Engineering Singapore’s Frontline Fight
Learn how Samuel Seah, lead engineer at HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency), is empowering frontline officers with technology and futuristic cars.
Extricating accident victims, executing high-speed car chases and securing our airspace in the face of drone threats — the duties of those at the frontline are rarely straightforward. This concept is not lost on Samuel Seah, lead engineer at HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency), who helps develop operational and technological solutions customised for the Home Team.
Samuel empowers our frontline officers with the tools they need to carry out ground operations with greater efficiency and efficacy. This means making full use of cutting-edge technologies such as smart sensors and automation to help secure Singapore’s status as one of the safest countries in the world, Samuel explains.
Staying at the forefront of technological innovations is especially important to address current and future threats in this age of unprecedented disruption. “There is a constant need to keep pace with today’s rapidly changing world,” says Samuel. “This drives me to keep up with technology to learn, grow, and contribute to make our nation safer and more secure for our loved ones,” the self-professed tech geek adds.
But how exactly has Samuel and his team gone about bolstering our forces through technology? A futuristic police car that can automatically detect wanted vehicles in a matter of seconds is certainly not a bad place to start.
Today’s Vehicles Fit for the Next Generation
Dubbed the “Next-generation Fast Response Car (NGFRC)”, the purpose-built vehicle is a collaboration between engineers from various HTX units and officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF). As the project lead in design and development of the NGFRC, Samuel worked closely with the SPF officers to translate their operational requirements into technical specifications.
The Next-generation Fast Response Car (NGFRC) is equipped with a host of smart features aimed at enabling police officers to carry out their duties with greater efficiency and efficacy. (Photo credit: HTX)
The result of their hard work? A next-generation vehicle equipped with a full suite of innovative features that meets the SPF’s unique operational needs.
For example, the car enables officers to identify vehicles of interest quickly while on the move, thanks to the Automated Number Plate Recognition system. Another smart feature is the radio-frequency identification technology which tracks all the equipment within the vehicle, and hence, cuts out the need for officers to take stock manually. All these can be seamlessly controlled through the NGFRC’s Integrated Vehicular Dashboard.
Another high-tech vehicle that Samuel is working on is the XENTINEL, HTX’s first counter-drone mobile response vehicle. As drones become an increasingly common feature in our skies, more will need to be done to detect and guard against rogue and unauthorised drones. Protecting our airspace from these small unmanned aerial vehicles, however, requires extensive manpower and resources. “We needed to improve efficiency of counter-drone operations, and XENTINEL is our answer,” says Samuel.
Equipped with radar and sensors, the XENTINEL can easily spot drones and disable them without disrupting electronic signals that are used by other devices in the area. It can also be operated by just one officer, effectively reducing the manpower needed.
The Only Way is Forward
While a fascination in science and technology has steered Samuel’s outlook since his younger days, his appetite to discover greater frontiers only seems to intensify. “Back to the Future was one of my favourite films when I was young,” he recalls fondly. “We now see cars with the falcon-wing doors and travel using electrical power, just like that car from the movie. Let’s wait and see if cars in the future can go beyond the speed of light as mankind embarks on the time-travelling quest,” Samuel laughs.
While Samuel’s hopes may seem out-of-this-world, it is a familiar saying that keeps him grounded as he works on securing our nation: “Every day can be meaningful and fulfilling when one loves what he does and does what he loves.”