Defence seeks to enhance stealth of uninhabited aerial systems
The Defence Science and Technology Group is inviting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to submit proposals for new technologies to protect Australian small, fixed-wing uninhabited aerial systems (UAS) by making them harder to detect.
UASs are used for intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance, especially in situations where manned flight is considered too risky. Having the ability to remain undetected conveys significant tactical advantages for such operations.
“Australian SMEs are great innovators and we want them to put forward innovative concepts to protect our UAS from being readily seen or heard in different environmental conditions,” said Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne.
“Defence is looking for outcomes to reduce both the visual and acoustic detection of UAS from ground-based observation without disrupting the operation of the aircraft.”
Specifically, Defence is looking for novel solutions that can:
- adapt to changing conditions to reduce visual detectability against a sky background; and/or
- reduce or change the acoustic signature of these small aircraft to make them less acoustically detectable in different environmental conditions.
Defence is encouraging research and development in this field with a view to producing signature management solutions that can later be developed and applied to larger, more detectable platforms.
Proposals are being invited under the Small Business Innovation Research for Defence (SBIRD) initiative of the Next Generation Technologies Fund — a program designed to stimulate innovative research for Defence application by SMEs. According to Pyne, this is the first project under the initiative requiring a novel application of material sciences and advanced sensors.
Funded proposals will be eligible for up to $100,000, for completion within nine months. If successful, SMEs will then be eligible to apply for funding to support further research and concept maturation within 24 months, with maximum funding of $750,000.
Proposals must be submitted by 11 pm AEST on 9 July. For more information or to submit a proposal, click here.
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