Defence Innovation Hub contracts worth $12m awarded

The federal government has awarded five Australian businesses contracts with a combined value of more than $12 million to further develop their innovative technologies to support the Australian Defence Force.

Funded through the Defence Innovation Hub, the investments will see Sentient Vision Systems, a small Australian computer vision technology company, awarded a $5.5 million contract to explore the development of a land Visual Detection and Ranging (VIDAR) system that utilises electro-optics with a new infra-red capability for low light and night time functionality.

“If successful this technology will offer wide-area detection, tracking and classification capability that can be deployed on both manned and unmanned platforms,” defence industry minister Steven Ciobo said in a statement.

Read: $7.8m awarded in defence innovation contracts

A $3.2 million contract has also been signed with Thomas Global to explore development of a next generation, high definition, colour, digital biocular image control unit for use in armoured vehicles, while a $2 million contract has been signed with Penten to develop new technology that creates decoy radio emissions designed to confuse enemy combatants.

Ocius has been awarded$1.7 million to determine the viability of an intelligent command and control network of persistent unmanned surface vessels. This advanced technology has the potential to improve defence maritime services, such as maritime patrol, mine clearance, environmental monitoring, and search and rescue operations.

Lastly, Amatek Design has been provided with $288,000 to further develop the concept for a heavy lifter quad-copter drone for Army combat service support.  If successful, this capability could be used to supplement or replace existing modes of transport, including off-road vehicles, trucks and helicopters.

Established under the Government in 2016, the Defence Innovation Hub accepts proposals on innovations at all stages, from early stage concept exploration and technology demonstration through to advanced prototypes for integration, test and evaluation.