Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne recently
announced that a new defence project focused on improving navy
vessels’ safety, speed, and fuel consumption, through the better use of
unmanned aerial platforms has commenced.
The new A$1.1-million Defence
Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) project aims
to enhance Australian defence capability and build industrial capacity in
sensor and on-board data processing technology for unmanned aerial systems and
“Defence’s ongoing involvement through a senior stakeholder
group gives the end customer for this activity an awareness of promising new
technologies and an opportunity to play their part in promoting the growth of
an emerging industrial base,” Minister Pyne said.
According to Minister Pyne, the project aims to develop
miniaturised, high frequency sensor systems for deployment on CubeSats and
other unmanned aerial platforms, advancing passive radar technologies related
to the processing of both line-of-sight and reflected GPS signals in real time.
The initial application of this technology could enable Australian
Defence Force to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles to accurately estimate
sea-state conditions, leading to improved safety, speed and fuel consumption
for Navy vessels.
The project is the first of four to be progressed under DMTC’s High
Altitude Sensor Systems (HASS) program,
launched by the Minister for Defence Industry last September, and involves new
DMTC partners Seaskip Pty Ltd and UNSW Sydney’s Australian Centre for Space
Engineering Research (ACSER).
The HASS Program will enhance Australian defence capability and
build industrial capacity in sensor and on-board data processing technology for
unmanned aerial systems and small-satellite platforms.
Minister Pyne said DMTC’s model relies on the active involvement
of every partner, encompassing industry companies with an appetite for research
and development, brilliant researchers and a clear signal that the
collaboration will address a Defence need.
Under DMTC’s proven co-investment model, the A$2.7-million funding
provided by the
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is leveraged by contributions of cash and resources
from industry and research partners.
DMTC is a key
partner of the Defence
Innovation Hub. Launched in 2016, the Hub will invest around A$640
million over the decade in maturing and further developing technologies that
have moved from the early science stages into the engineering and development