Australia — Government invests $13 million in research and development for Defence

The Min­is­ter for Defence Sci­ence and Per­son­nel, War­ren Snow­don, today announced that inno­v­a­tive Aus­tralian research projects involv­ing heli­copters, objects in space, sonar analy­sis and solar ener­gy had been select­ed to receive com­bined fund­ing of $13 mil­lion.

Five projects were select­ed out of 119 sub­mis­sions received under Round 15 of the Defence Capa­bil­i­ty and Tech­nol­o­gy Demon­stra­tor (CTD) Pro­gram.

“In sup­port­ing these pro­pos­als we have the poten­tial to advance Defence capa­bil­i­ty, pro­duce inno­v­a­tive prod­ucts for Defence and civil­ian use and stim­u­late Aus­tralian indus­try growth,” Mr Snow­don said.

“Defence is proud to be sup­port­ing Aus­tralian busi­ness in devel­op­ing these inno­v­a­tive prod­ucts, which range from a light-weight ener­gy sys­tem for pow­er­ing a soldier’s com­bat equip­ment to a detach­able device that can keep heli­copters afloat dur­ing mar­itime emer­gen­cies.” (Full list of projects attached)

“I am espe­cial­ly pleased to note the five suc­cess­ful pro­pos­als have come from small and medi­um enter­pris­es and I con­grat­u­late the com­pa­nies involved for sup­port­ing inno­v­a­tive research and devel­op­ment tech­nol­o­gy,” Mr Snow­don said.

The CTD Pro­gram, man­aged by the Defence Sci­ence and Tech­nol­o­gy Organ­i­sa­tion and spon­sored by the Capa­bil­i­ty Devel­op­ment Group, sup­ports Aus­tralian indus­try in demon­strat­ing new tech­nolo­gies that have the poten­tial to con­tribute to Defence capa­bil­i­ty.

Since the pro­gram began in 1997, Defence has invest­ed $237 mil­lion in 99 projects. Of these, 72 projects have been com­plet­ed suc­cess­ful­ly, 11 projects have tran­si­tioned either into ser­vice or as a con­tender for a major project, and a fur­ther 11 have tran­si­tioned into fund­ed CTD Exten­sion or CTD Tran­si­tion Projects.

These are very good results for high-risk research and devel­op­ment projects that ben­e­fit Defence and Aus­tralian indus­try.

Media Con­tacts:
Mr Snowdon’s Office: Alice Plate 02 6277 7820 or 0400 045 999
Defence Media Oper­a­tions: (02) 6127 1999

Back­ground on 5 pro­posed tech­nolo­gies (CTD Round 15)




1. Nanopar­ti­cle-Hydrophone Devel­op­ment

This pro­pos­al has the poten­tial to improve under­wa­ter sonar sens­ing for ships, sub­marines and unmanned under­wa­ter vehi­cles (UUV). The small pad-like devices could be installed in large num­bers on the hulls of ves­sels, reduc­ing the over­all size of the ves­sel by elim­i­nat­ing the need for bulky sonar struc­tures and tak­ing the place of sonar array cables.

Phoenix Engi­neer­ing
Sys­tems Pty Ltd
(Engi­neer­ing and busi­ness con­sult­ing com­pa­ny offer­ing prac­ti­cal solu­tions  for the Defence indus­try)

With Thales Aus­tralia
(A prime Aus­tralian Defence con­trac­tor)


2. Active Pulse Analy­sis Sys­tem (APAS)

This pro­pos­al aims to devel­op an advanced under­wa­ter detec­tion and analy­sis sys­tem as well as inno­v­a­tive dis­plays to enhance a vessel’s sonar sens­ing capa­bil­i­ty. The APAS would allow auto­mat­ic scans of the large amounts of infor­ma­tion col­lect­ed by a ship’s sonar to detect tar­gets and to ass­es the type of detec­tion, allow­ing the oper­a­tor to decide which sig­nals need fur­ther atten­tion.

Sonartech Atlas

(Lead­ing sub­ma­rine sonar house spe­cial­is­ing in design, man­u­fac­ture and sup­port of under­wa­ter sonars)

Syd­ney (NSW)

3. Inte­grat­ed Pow­er Sys­tem for Dis­mount­ed Com­bat

This tech­nol­o­gy seeks to reduce the weight of bat­ter­ies a sol­dier needs to car­ry to pow­er equip­ment such as GPS sys­tems and radios for com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It also aims to reduce the com­plex­i­ty of the pow­er sys­tem. Foot sol­diers are increas­ing­ly reliant on elec­tron­ic devices which require bat­tery pow­er but they increase the weight a sol­dier has to car­ry. The pro­pos­al would inte­grate flex­i­ble light­weight pow­er gen­er­at­ing solar cells, more effi­cient pow­er stor­age tech­nol­o­gy and pow­er gen­er­at­ing elec­tron­ic tex­tiles, and apply smarter tech­niques for man­ag­ing the pow­er require­ment.

Tec­ton­i­ca Aus­tralia Pty Ltd

(Defence and secu­ri­ty sys­tems inte­gra­tor spe­cial­is­ing in devel­op­ing ful­ly inte­grat­ed sys­tems for sol­diers, armoured vehi­cles and relat­ed capa­bil­i­ties).

With Aus­tralian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty and CSIRO.

Mel­bourne (VIC) & Can­ber­ra (ACT)

4. Pega­sus Air­craft Buoy­an­cy Sys­tem

This pro­pos­al will demon­strate a light­weight, detach­able emer­gency float­ing device for the Aus­tralian Army’s fleet of heli­copters. With the intro­duc­tion of new LHD (Land­ing Heli­copter Dock) ships, Army will oper­ate heli­copters from naval plat­forms. There­fore a capa­bil­i­ty to enable a heli­copter to remain afloat after ditch­ing in the sea is vital for the sur­vival of the crew. The Pega­sus con­cept aims to keep an air­craft up to 10 tonnes in weight afloat. The sys­tem will weigh less than 50 kg and pro­vide quick and easy attach­ment. It will have the capa­bil­i­ty to lift the air­craft to the sea’s sur­face from a depth of up to 10 metres and will oper­ate auto­mat­i­cal­ly or under pilot con­trol with no wired con­nec­tion to the air­craft.

L-3 Nautron­ix 

(spe­cial­ist provider of mar­itime sys­tems and solu­tions for sur­face and under­sea defence appli­ca­tions, includ­ing acoustic and through-water com­mu­ni­ca­tions)

With AADI Defence Pty Ltd 

(Con­sor­tium of experts

pro­vid­ing strate­gic, tech­ni­cal and com­mer­cial advice,
facil­i­ta­tion and advo­ca­cy for defence com­pa­nies)

Perth (WA) and Mel­bourne (VIC)

5. Inte­gra­tion of EO/Laser Space Object Track­ing Capa­bil­i­ty

In this con­cept it is pro­posed to devel­op a sys­tem that can sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve the abil­i­ty to track objects in space. It would pro­vide con­sid­er­able improve­ments to exist­ing and planned space sur­veil­lance sys­tems. Bet­ter accu­ra­cy and reli­a­bil­i­ty will mean greater pro­tec­tion of oper­a­tional satel­lites from col­lid­ing in space.

EOS Space Sys­tems Pty Ltd

(Spe­cialis­es in the design, devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of elec­tro-optic tech­nol­o­gy sys­tems for the space and defence sec­tor).

With Northrop Grum­man Inter­na­tion­al.

Can­ber­ra (ACT)

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia

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