research project that will utilise satellite technology to aid in disaster response is one of four initiatives to receive funding in the latest round of grants from the Defence Innovation Partnership’s Collaborative Research Fund (CRF). The research activity will introduce a new technique for satellite-based connectivity for emergency services and Defence personnel in hazardous environments when ground-based communications network infrastructure is unavailable. Small, low power beacons will improve the collection of live data from incidents and allow for timely distribution of information across response teams. Adelaide space start-up Safety from Space will lead the project with partners Flinders University, University of South Australia, SmartSat CRC and the Defence Science and Technology Group. The full list of projects to receive funding are:

  • $150,000 for dual use satellite messaging beacon system for Defence andEmergency Services Personnel, led by Safety from Space with PartnersFlinders University, University of South Australia, SmartSat CRC and DefenceScience and Technology Group
  • $150,000 for sensing semiconductor devices with terahertz waves, led by theUniversity of Adelaide with partners Flinders University, Keysight Technologies Australia Pty Ltd and Defence Science and Technology Group
  • $148,658 for rapid environmental monitoring using autonomous systems, led by the University of Adelaide with partners Flinders University Acacia SystemsPty Ltd, and Defence Science and Technology Group
  • $149,404 for validation of a test and evaluation model for planning and architecture optimisation, led by University of South Australia with partners The University of Adelaide, Nova Systems and Defence Science andTechnology Group

The Defence Innovation Partnership is a collaborative initiative between Defence SA, the Department of Defence through the Next Generation Technologies Fund, and South Australia’s three universities – the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia.

Minister for Defence and Space Industries Susan Close said: “Over the last five years, the CRF has unlocked more than $12 million of collaborative defence and space R&D activity across 29 projects in South Australia. Bringing together researchers, industry and Defence to collaborate on projects that provide real life technological solutions not only for Defence, but also across broader industries including space, is a key deliverable of the research fund. The project proposed by Safety from Space and partners is a great example of the capability of South Australia’s space industry and the importance of cross-sector innovation, with potential applications across both Defence operations and civilian humanitarian and disaster response operations.”

Defence SA Chief Executive Richard Price said “South Australia has a long history of success in collaborative defence research and development and the quality of applications received for round 6 of the CRF are testament to this, with highly capable teams including senior and experienced researchers and industry partners represented. There was also a strong representation from the Defence Science and Technology Group which demonstrates the strong alignment of this research with Defence priorities. As well as supporting successful applicants, the Defence Innovation Partnership will engage with unsuccessful applicants to assist them in progressing their projects, potentially through collaborators or alternative avenues for funding.


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