Veterans’ Affairs works on new housing standards for vets: Improving understanding of veteran homelessness among housing providers will be the focus of a new set of industry standards, training materials and a toolkit being developed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA). Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said any instance of veteran homelessness was concerning and this initiative will strengthen the relationship between housing providers, DVA, ex-service organisations (ESOs) and Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling. “Where DVA is made aware of a veteran who is homeless or at risk of homelessness, all of these organisations work together to ensure they are appropriately looked after, and this joint initiative between DVA and CHIA will raise further awareness of veterans’ unique risk factors,” Chester said. “Partnering with CHIA on this work is vital as it represents all community housing providers across Australia, managing more than 100,000 rental properties, which will allow us to connect with veteran communities in all states and territories.” There are many factors that can contribute to homelessness, such as relationship breakdown, unemployment, and mental health issues, and the Government is focused on mitigating these factors before veterans and their families find themselves at risk of being homeless. This has included Defence adopting a needs-based approach to transition, better employment support, free mental health care for life, and payments for those veterans in financial stress while their claim for compensation is in progress with DVA. Chester said currently there was no single source of data on veterans’ homelessness and the government has actively sought to better understand and address the risk factors and the instances of homelessness in the veteran community. “In 2021, for the first time the Australian Census will have a question about Australian Defence Force service, which will provide valuable data on the veteran community and allow government to better deliver services and support for veterans and their families, including homelessness services.”

Southern Launch selects T-Minus Engineering DART Rocket: Acting as launch service provider for DEWC Systems, Southern Launch has selected the T-Minus Engineering DART rocket to launch DEWC’s prototype payload on a parabolic trajectory into space at the Koonibba Rocket Test Range later this year. “This exciting launch was triggered by a simple chat in early 2019 about the possibility of working on a project that will bring together South Australian companies to demonstrate our collective capabilities”, DEWC Systems CEO Ian Spencer said. Under the resultant contract, Southern Launch selected the DART rocket based on DEWC Systems’ requirements, developed mathematical flight performance models of the DART, optimised the rocket flight trajectories to meet the DEWC Systems’ payload requirements, and developed the range safety exclusion areas in consultation with the traditional owners across the Koonibba Test Range. Southern Launch also developed all documentation and sourced all regulatory approvals from all Australian State and Federal regulatory bodies to import, store and operate the rockets. “Very soon this rocket, unlike any rocket ever launched in Australia will carry DEWC Systems’ prototype electronic sensor payload that will enable us to detect and identify specific radar signals. Using the DART gives us easy and cost-effective access to space and has helped us to hone our skills in electronics optimisation and miniaturisation,” Spencer said. The DART rocket will carry DEWC’s payload, the DEWC-SP1 into space before being released from the launch container and descending to earth. The DEWC-SP1 itself is less than 27 cm long, 3cm in diameter and weighs less than 500 grams. This tiny payload will conduct an important sensing mission as it descends to Earth, paving the way for future planned developments by DEWC Systems. This miniaturised suite of antennas, sensors and communication links will endure up to 50 times its own weight due to the G-forces at launch, freezing temperatures in space and extreme heat as it reaches up to five time the speed of sound as it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere. The mission will provide much needed performance data and demonstrate the functionality of these types of systems for a variety of applications.

Orbital Corporation announces financial results: Orbital Corporation announced that its unaudited results for FY20 show the company earned revenue of $33.8 million (FY19: $15.3 million) and delivered a net profit after tax of $1.7 million (FY19: loss of $5.9 million). FY20 revenue of $33.8 million represents an increase from FY19 of 121 percent and is at the top end of the company’s market guidance range of $25 million to $35 million. Revenue in FY20 was underpinned by the production of engines under Orbital UAV’s Long Term Agreement with Insitu, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boeing Company. The company now has two engine models in continuous production for Insitu, with the third of the five engine models contracted under the LTA scheduled for production during 2021. Orbital UAV’s customer demand remains strong and existing business and projected outlook has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Orbital UAV is contracted to bring five engine models into production to power the entire unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fleet of Boeing subsidiary Insitu. The company began shipping units of the second engine model under the LTA in January 2020. Orbital UAV is targeting further revenue growth in FY21 and expects full year revenues to improve to between $40 million and $50 million.

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