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Defence launches $1.1 million sensor project for small satellites, drones

The Defence Materials Technology Centre has kicked off a $1.1 million project that aims to develop sensor and on-board data processing technology for unmanned aerial systems and small-satellite platforms.

 The project also involves new DMTC partner Seaskip and UNSW Sydney’s Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research. The initial focus will be to use the sensor technology to improve Navy safety and performance through the better use of unmanned aerial platforms.

The project is the first of four to be progressed under DMTC’s High Altitude Sensor Systems program, launched by the Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne last September. He said the project would also advance passive radar technologies related to the processing of both line-of-sight and reflected GPS signals.

“The initial application of this technology could enable Defence to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles to accurately estimate sea-state conditions, leading to improved safety, speed and fuel consumption for Navy vessels,” Pyne said. Under DMTC’s co-investment model, funding provided by government agencies – in this case the CSIRO – is leveraged by contributions of cash and resources from industry and research partners. Geoff Long, Commsday