USE THIS ONEBlueZone Group and its industry partners have been awarded an Australian Defence Innovation Hub grant to develop a sovereign anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability to support the Royal Australian Navy’s integrated undersea surveillance system. Under the Phase 3 contract, BlueZone Group, Sonartech Atlas and Acacia Systems will prototype an Australian-developed sonar and combat data processing system installed in a Wave Glider unmanned surface vehicle (USV) that will operate as a peer capability alongside existing traditional platforms. Wave Glider is a product of Boeing’s Liquid Robotics subsidiary.

“The program builds on the success of our earlier exploratory work and will apply innovative integration of sonar processors and automated tracking technologies with leading-edge ASW sensors and the latest version of Liquid Robotics’ Wave Glider,” said Elizabeth Karpiel, chief executive officer, BlueZone Group. “This project aims to provide a fully autonomous persistent surveillance capability which will complement the Australian Defence Force’s existing and planned ASW force structure.”

The system will comprise a Wave Glider equipped with:

  1. KraitArray™ thin line towed array sonar for detection of acoustic data;
  2. Onboard processing of the data which can be classified and localised using Sonartech Atlas technology;
  3. And tracking information produced by Acacia Systems algorithms that can be communicated from the USV and contribute to the overall ASW situation awareness.
(PHOTO: Boeing)

“Using an agile technology development process, BlueZone Group will integrate existing technologies with novel payloads from indigenous SMEs to provide a technology advantage to the ADF,” said Darren Burrowes, chief technology officer, BlueZone Group.

Wave Gliders can stay at sea for months at a time, continuously collecting and communicating real-time data while simultaneously supporting a variety of sensor payloads. The prototype will automate a range of ASW operations including deployment of wide area surveillance systems, sonar processing and tactical track management and reporting procedures, with final trials to be completed in early 2022.

“BlueZone Group has been a channel partner of Boeing’s Wave Glider for nearly 10 years in support of the Royal Australian Navy’s maritime surveillance missions,” said Scott Carpendale, vice president and managing director of Boeing Defence Australia. Boeing in Australia has a strong base of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who have supported innovative programs including the Loyal Wingman Advanced Development Program as well as Insitu Pacific’s ScanEagle. What’s really exciting is to see Australian SMEs lead a complex project like this, with BlueZone Group as the prime and Boeing through our Liquid Robotics subsidiary, as their supplier.”


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