ElbitCollaborating with leading universities on underwater autonomy and systems-of-systems experimentation, creating procedures for assessing the mission effectiveness of small commercial drones, and developing world-class Test and Evaluation (T&E) training, are among the highlights of the first year of the Nova Systems T&E Centre of Excellence initiative.

Nova Systems has just marked one year since announcing it would develop a national T&E Centre of Excellence (CoE). It was established as a central hub to bring together industry, academia and Defence to collaborate on Australian defence capability, digital technologies, industry training and commercialisation of cutting-edge research, digital technologies, training and ideas.

Underpinning the digital engineering transformation Nova Systems is undertaking, the T&E CoE collaboration is enhancing how Nova and its partners deliver Digital Mission Engineering expertise, synthetic methods for testing systems-of-systems and providing mission assurance.

Since announcing the establishment of the T&E CoE, Nova Systems has:

  • Entered into contractual relationships with leading Australian universities which bridge the gap between industry and academia in the fields of systems-of-systems experimentation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, underwater autonomy, and systems engineering. These organisations include the University of South Australia and the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania.
  • Invested heavily in Digital Mission Engineering workforce creation capability. A digital classroom has been delivered in Melbourne with all the necessary hardware, certified instructional staff, and relationships with specialist software suppliers required to build a sustainable workforce of mission engineering specialists and senior T&E practitioners.
  • Completed an in-depth training needs analysis to determine what skills and knowledge future T&E professionals require in a post digital-engineering revolution world. This study then formed the basis of the new 4-week Advanced Test and Evaluation (T&E) Practitioners Course that has been created to upskill T&E professionals in both industry and defence.
  • Developed methods for characterising the suitability of small commercial drones for missions and for rapidly incorporating digital models of small drones into physics-based digital mission engineering simulations.
  • Integrated digital mission engineering, electromagnetic spectrum engineering, and model-based T&E tools to create both a technology stack, and a body of codified knowledge in order to understand how this technology can accelerate capability realisation.

Two key focus areas of the Centre of Excellence have been around future workforce skilling and the impact of evolving capability assurance approaches. In response, Nova Systems has developed the Advanced T&E Practitioners Course. The first course will commence in February 2024.

T&E Capability Lead Tim Grabert said collaboration between industry, academia and government is the key to understanding how to introduce disruptive capabilities at pace and at a tolerable level of risk. “As leaders in T&E for the past two decades, we have an integral role to play in supporting Australian T&E capability and ensuring these skills evolve with technology,” Grabert said. “We are continually investing in our workforce, and adapting T&E methodologies to provide a truly world-class Australia T&E capability. Digital engineering tools and methods including the use of modelling, simulation, and experimentation are becoming firmly entrenched in the way in which military equipment is tested and certified, and T&E professionals need to have the knowledge and skills required to play their part in an industry which has undergone a digital engineering revolution. In establishing the CoE and developing the Advanced Course over the past 12-18 months, we always envisaged that this would help lead and shape new ways of delivering T&E in an increasingly complex environment. At the heart of what we do is keeping pace with emerging technologies so we can support the common goal of supporting our Defence forces to keep our nation and people safe and secure.”


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