Queensland Defence Science Alliance stakeholders had the pleasure of visiting the MILTECS Facility being constructed by EPE at the CSIRO site at Pullenvale in Brisbane.
The QDSA team were joined by academia, industry and defence personnel on June 16 at the Brisbane site housing the first Military Test, Evaluation, Certification, and Systems Assurance (MILTECS) facility of its type in Australia.
The networking event allowed stakeholders to see first-hand some of the work EPE and CSIRO are conducting to counter threats – including explosives, as well as Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats.
EPE, an Australian veteran owned and operated company, is highly regarded for its innovative solutions which support and protect defence, law enforcement and emergency response personnel.
Unmanned and aerial systems is just one of EPE’s renowned integrated solutions with the MILTECS facility providing a specialised unmanned systems proving ground, training area, along with a supporting CBRNe Sensor Test and Assurance Laboratory designed specifically for Australian requirements.
New testing lanes and obstacle courses have been developed which allow the autonomous vehicles’ capabilities to be tested under a wide range of conditions.
According to QDSA Associate Director, Dr Jeremy Anderson, this testing facility is a fantastic example of how the wider industry is finding innovative ways to rapidly test and accelerate Defence capability.
“The tunnels which are part of the CSIRO Data 61 artificial intelligence testing facilities have been purposely built above ground rather than underground, which was not only faster and more cost effective – but still able to achieve the same environmental testing.”
“Having a facility like this means autonomous vehicles can be vigorously assessed and scrutinised, so any technical issues can be fixed quickly to rapidly accelerate the capability of the technology,” Dr Anderson said.
These new capabilities will allow EPE, CSIRO and Industry partners to deliver substantially enhanced Defence capability outcomes.
Perhaps most importantly, uninhabited robotic systems help to minimise the risk for personnel on the ground – allowing defence personnel to keep a safe distance from numerous threats with some of the more dangerous missions able to be carried out by robots.
QDSA Associate Director, Dr Jeremy Anderson said these networking opportunities were invaluable when it comes to creating relationships and accelerating Queensland’s advantage.
“We love seeing the great capability that exists here in Queensland. Added to that, being able to help foster more local connections and to ultimately get the right people working together on the right problems that Defence is interested in.”
“Our role at QDSA is to connect people and build relationships. We also help Defence to understand what capability exists locally so it can be applied to Defence challenges. Site visits such as this one – and the many more we plan to facilitate – is just the start,” he said.
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Established in 2021, the Queensland Defence Science Alliance (QDSA) is a university-led initiative committed to creating an agile ecosystem that enhances Queensland’s capability pipeline to rapidly translate ideas into reality within the Defence enterprise.
Bringing together the sharpest multi-disciplinary minds across seven leading Queensland Universities, industry partners, government and Defence, the QDSA focusses on sovereign collaboration and innovation to accelerate Defence’s capability edge.