The Australian Government has made a multimillion dollar investment to develop future defence technology, under the Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program.
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon said the program will receive up to $13 million to be managed by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.
“The program supports Australian industry to develop and demonstrate new technologies that could contribute to Defence capability. Eight technology proposals have been selected this year to demonstrate possible defence applications,” Mr Snowdon said.
“By supporting these proposals, we create the potential to advance Defence capability, produce innovative products for Defence and civilian use, and stimulate Australian industry growth.”
Mr Snowdon made the announcement at the University of Sydney’s School of Electrical and Information Engineering where technology related to one of the proposals to be funded was demonstrated.
“That proposal will leverage the latest developments in photonic signal processing to enable very small and fast-moving targets to be quickly discerned even in unpredictable battlefield scenarios when there is a significant amount of signal clutter,” Mr Snowdon said.
“It aims to increase the electronic warfare capability of our Anzac-class frigates, and might also be applicable to the Air Warfare Destroyer and the Future Frigate.
“The Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program has produced very good results for high-risk research and development projects that benefit Defence and Australian industry.
“This year’s successful proposals for Round 17 include a project to develop a lightweight combat helmet with greater protection from high-powered rifles and fragments, a system that will help helicopter crews see in bad weather, and technology that will protect electronic warfare systems from electronic interference,” he said.
“I congratulate all of the companies, in particular the four small-to-medium enterprises and an academic institution that have succeeded in getting through the highly competitive selection process for Round 17.”
Since the Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program began, Defence has invested $250 million in 104 projects, half of them proposed by small-to-medium enterprises. Ninety-four projects have been completed, 86 of them have had successful demonstrations and 15 of these have entered service. Ten projects are still in progress under contract.
“A number of current and recently completed projects look promising for future transition into service,” Mr Snowdon said.
Minister Snowdon’s Office (02) 6277 7820
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999
The eight successful proposals are:
1. Wideband Adaptive Interference Canceller which aims to protect Electronic Warfare (EW) systems from on-board and off-board electronic interference (Ultra Electronics – Avalon Systems Pty Ltd, SA).
2. Sensor Augmented Vision for Improved Operation of Rotorcraft in a Degraded Visual Environment (SAVIOUR) which seeks to reduce the probability of helicopter accidents caused by spatial disorientation in bad weather and light by providing aircrew with an all-direction, augmented view of the outside environment (Rheinmetall Simulation Australia Pty Ltd (formerly known as Sydac), SA).
3. Data Cloudlets to Support IT Services which will develop techniques for protecting and synchronising data before, during and after a sudden disconnection to avoid loss of operational data (SMS Consulting Group Ltd, NSW).
4. Active Electronic Scanned Array for High Bandwidth Data, a proposal to develop a capability for a high bandwidth, ship-to-ship communication link by adapting equipment currently installed on ANZAC Class Frigates (CEA Technologies Pty Ltd, ACT).
5. Passive Radar designed to demonstrate a system that detects objects by picking up the energy radiated or reflected by them, without requiring a transmitter (BAE Systems Ltd, SA).
6. Photonic Enhanced Radio Frequency Front End will use advances in microchip and photonic technologies to build a high-sensitivity electronic front end – placed between a radar antenna and follow-on signal processing stages – which should improve detection of smaller, faster, smarter targets like missiles, as well as generally enhance operational intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. (The University of Sydney, NSW).
7. Combat Helmet System with High Powered Rifle and Increased Fragment Protection which aims to apply new bonding and laminating techniques to make advanced ceramic helmet shells to be manufactured into light weight composite infantry helmets offering multi-hit and shock protection for soldiers (Armor Composite Engineering Pty Ltd, NSW).
8. CEA Missile Simulation Target (CEAMIST) which plans to develop the Navy capability to conduct anti-missile training exercises with low cost realistic radar targets (with CEA Technologies Pty Ltd, ACT).