Defence turns to Australian SME’s to enhance stealth of unmanned aerial systems

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Defence is urging Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to submit proposals for new technologies that would make the country’s  small, fixed-wing unmanned aerial systems (UAS) harder to detect.

In making the announcement, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the proposals are being invited under the Small Business Innovation Research for Defence (SBIRD) initiative of the Next Generation Technologies Fund.

“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,” Mr Pyne said.

“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.”

“This program is designed to stimulate innovative research for Defence application by SMEs with this being the first project under the initiative requiring a novel application of material sciences and advanced sensors.”

According to the Minister, 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.

”I look forward to a strong response from SMEs and cutting-edge solutions in their proposals,” Mr Pyne concluded.

Further information on how to submit proposals for the project is available at:

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