A subsidiary of WA company Strategic Elements will design and deliver an autonomous drone-carrying vehicle that automates detection and sensing of chemical, biological radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents. The subsidiary, Stealth Technologies Pty Limited, will collaborate with DST Group’s Land Division and the University of Western Australia to build the solution and conduct a live demonstration for the Army.
The WA Defence Science Centre will part-fund the project to the tune of $150,000. DST Group and UWA will contribute a further $200,000 in cash and kind while Stealth Technologies will invest $350,000. Under the funding agreement, Stealth Technologies will retain 100% of the IP and associated commercialisation rights for CBRN and other defence force-related applications of the technology.
The Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle (AUV) will carry drones and sensors into a target environment keeping humans at a safe distance. The deployable drones will traverse the target area rapidly using sensors to map and/or monitor the location of CBRN agents. The AUV itself will be based on Stealth Technologies’ Autonomous Security Vehicle (ASV) which is currently employed in perimeter security applications and use Stealth Autodrive Hardware and Stealth OS Software. In November last year Stealth Technologies announced it had partnered with US firm Planck AeroSystems to develop a drone launch and recovery capability from the ASV.
As well as a live demonstration to the Army, the project will investigate advanced manufacturing opportunities in WA. It will also potentially leverage this autonomous capability for other ADF problems such as re-supply and ISR.