Page 14 - Australian Defence Magazine September 2018
P. 14

Defence invests in new space surveillance capabilities
SILENTIUM Defence has announced it has been awarded two new contracts, together worth $1.5 million, through the Defence Innovation Hub.
The contracts are for the develop- ment of new situational awareness capabilities for Defence, including ground-based passive radar technology that will allow Australian forces to ‘see without being seen’ and unique ‘wide- field-of-view’ space surveillance tech- nology that will allow Australia to in- dependently track and monitor objects in orbit around Earth.
“We’re thrilled to get these projects un- derway and to deliver not just new tech- nology for Defence, but world-leading capability and new export opportunities for Australia," Dr James Palmer, CEO of Silentium Defence, said. “The increasing- ly contested space surveillance industry is ripe for capitalisation and our products will help put Australia in the box-seat to make the most of that opportunity.”
Minister for Defence Industry Chris- topher Pyne announced the contracts at the official opening of Silentium De- fence’s new research and development facility at Parafield Airport, Adelaide.
“The proximity of this new facility to some of the country’s leading avionics suppliers, customers and industry part- ners within the Parafield precinct affirms Silentium Defence as a key player in the
The Silentium Defence team at the opening of the new facility in Adelaide.
Tasmanian SME partners with DMTC on manufacturing
PENGUIN Composites has partnered with the Defence Materi- als Technology Centre (DMTC) to explore hybrid composite ma- terials in defence manufacturing.
The Tasmanian business, which supplies bonnets and other parts for Army's Hawkei protected vehicles, has joined an exist- ing DMTC project to enhance platform-independent technolo- gies that can be applied across supply chains including in the land, maritime, aerospace and space sectors.
“The partnership will explore the development of new com- pounds with unique characteristics that could, as one example, enhance the performance of military vehicles and reduce manu- facturing costs,” Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said. “DMTC was delivering the collaboration and focus on in- novation that was envisaged in the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement, in this case through exploring the potential of novel material compounds.”
Penguin Composites will join existing DMTC project part- ners Thales Australia, Imagine Intelligent Materials and research partners from University of Queensland, Swinburne University of Technology, Deakin University and RMIT.
sector, and a valuable partner for collabo- ration and innovation on defence, civil and space surveillance capabilities,” Min- ister Pyne said.
The facility provides a base for collabo- ration between Silentium Defence and its research partners including Defence Sci- ence and Technology (DST) and Curtin University in Western Australia. Astrono- mers at the Curtin University have teamed up with Silentium to develop a passive ra- dar for the surveillance of objects in space.
The team will use the super-sensitive Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) ra- dio telescope to record radio waves bounc- ing off objects in Earth’s orbit. These ob- jects can be 1000km away and travelling at up to 8km per second.
The signals recorded by the telescope are then processed to create a passive ra- dar. The technique is passive because the radio waves are generated by FM radio stations located around Australia, not from a radar transmitter.
Penguin Composites is already involved in manufacturing bonnets and other parts for the Hawkei vehicles.
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