In 2016-17 DMTC established a new program to develop and enhance Defence capabilities in the Space domain. Over the decade to 2025–26, our Defence customer is planning to invest around nine per cent of the total value of the Integrated Investment Program to strengthen its existing capabilities and develop new intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare (ISREW), space and cyber capabilities.
DMTC’s High Altitude Sensor Systems (HASS) Program will focus on the development of enhanced sensor components and on-board processing of sensor data for small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) as well as micro-, nano-, and cube-satellites (with a payload capacity of up to 5 kilograms).
Leveraging an initial CSIRO investment of $2.7 million, a total program of work valued at greater than $6 million over three to five years is envisaged.
Technical and strategic-level Advisory Groups have been established for the Program, and Dr Kimberley Clayfield has been appointed Program Leader on secondment from CSIRO. Dr Roy Hughes has also been engaged as a specialist technical adviser to the program.
Projects fit within one of two theme areas:
Theme 1: Miniaturised & ruggedised sensor components (Synthetic Aperture Radar, chemical, thermal, hyperspectral, etc.), including:
- Development of new or enhanced test/validation techniques (e.g. Unmanned Aerial System testbed)
- Sensor “building block” technologies (e.g. 3D printing, low Coefficient of Thermal Expansion materials, miniaturised optics, mass/size optimisation of existing sensors, etc.)
Theme 2: On-board processing of sensor data including:
- Enhanced data compression.
- Integrated data analysis (e.g. classification of thermal, electromagnetic, etc. emissions).
The initial call for proposals for the program in December 2016 yielded an impressive 36 responses, representing collaborations involving more than 50 organisations from across the research and industry sectors. From this initial response, 11 proposals were shortlisted to move to a second stage where detailed proposals were considered.