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ELO2 lunar rover prototype at Petrie Terrace State School

We had so much fun at Petrie Terrace State School in Brisbane showing students the ELO2 lunar rover prototype being developed as part of the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Trailblazer Program. ELO₂ project team members Ben Sorensen and Robbie Wild from EPE. Trusted To Protect’s Innovation team were delighted with the enthusiasm and curiosity from the students. The rover will be tasked with collecting Moon soil to extract oxygen for the creation of rocket fuel and other mission consumables.

An important part of the project is bringing Australians on our country’s first mission to the Moon and inspiring young people to pursue careers in STEM and space. One of these students could be the first Australian astronaut to step foot on the Moon! The classes of potential future scientists/engineers/space explorers asked questions that demonstrated strong scientific understanding.

This is just a snapshot of some of the comments made to their teachers – “I thought it was so cool that we might actually be able to create a habitat for humans”, “I didn’t know that it got up to 200 degrees Celsius on the Moon – that’s fascinating”, “ I thought it was really cool because we learnt all this new information – like how cold it can get.”

A treasured moment from Rafferty Sorensen: “When I saw it I thought my dad was the coolest person in the room.”

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NZ MoD awards contract to EPE New Zealand Limited to enhance New Zealand Defence Force’s Reconnaissance and Surveillance capabilities with Skydio uncrewed aircraft systems

EPE New Zealand Limited secures contract to enhance New Zealand Defence Force’s Reconnaissance and Surveillance capabilities with Skydio uncrewed aircraft systems

Wellington, New Zealand and San Mateo, Calif. – [19th December 2023]EPE New Zealand Limited (EPE) in collaboration with leading American uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) manufacturer Skydio, has been awarded a contract by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence, to provide the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) with new Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R & S) capabilities as part of the Networked Enabled Army (NEA) Programme.

Under this contract, EPE will provide Skydio’s X2D UAS to provide the New Zealand Army with an advanced micro UAS, which will elevate situational awareness and support deployed command decision-making across all echelons of command.

EPE will deliver Skydio’s UAS and raise, train and sustain the capability with ongoing Through Life Support (TLS) delivered locally in New Zealand. Skydio X2D capabilities will provide New Zealand Army personnel with a UAS with obstacle avoidance, and a combination of portability, ruggedness and ease of use that allows any unit to use the UAS as their organic surveillance and reconnaissance asset.

The UAS are being delivered as part of the Ministry of Defence’s Networked Enabled Army (NEA) Programme, which is tasked with delivering a transformational system to provide the NZDF land forces with deployable networked command, control, communications and computers (C4) and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

Andy Cross, General Manager of EPE New Zealand Limited said, “EPE and Skydio share a common aspiration to contribute to a safer world and equip soldiers with technology that not only provides strategic advantage but also enhances decision-making while safeguarding them from threats. As a team we have the capacity and ability to deliver and support the capability from design through to disposal.”

“Skydio has been committed to supporting the government sector in New Zealand, Australia and broader Oceania for years with our uncrewed aircraft systems,” said Mark Valentine, President and GM, Global Government for Skydio. “We are excited to continue to partner with EPE New Zealand Limited, to deliver the Skydio X2D to the New Zealand Defence agencies. Our technology will enhance the NZDF’s ability to conduct critical battlefield missions, enhance surveillance and reconnaissance, and capture accurate mapping data. Most importantly, our drones increase the safety and security of force personnel and readiness assets.”

 

ABOUT EPE

In its 25th year of operation, EPE’s purpose is to enable and protect Australians and our allies to operate safely and securely in harmful environments or when exposed to risk. EPE provides specialist support to government agencies and defence organisations to undertake design and integration activities, and deliver niche capabilities in uncrewed systems, sensors and effectors for deployment in hazardous environments. EPE works closely with industry and research and development organisations to develop technology and products for commercialisation, and provides technology verification and validation (V&V) services at its south-east Queensland-based MILTECS facilities (Military Training, Evaluation, Certification and Systems Assurance).

ABOUT SKYDIO

Skydio is the leading U.S. UAS manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight. Skydio creates the world’s most intelligent flying machines for use by enterprise and government customers. Founded in 2014, Skydio is made up of leading experts in robotics, cameras, and electric vehicles from top companies, research labs, and universities from around the world. Skydio designs, assembles, and supports its products in the U.S. from its headquarters in San Mateo, CA, to offer the highest standards of supply chain, manufacturing and data security. Skydio is trusted by leading enterprises across a wide range of industry sectors and is backed by top investors and strategic partners including Andreessen Horowitz, Levitate Capital, Next47, IVP, Playground, and NVIDIA. For more information visit Skydio.com.

 

Find more information contact: Narelle Hoffman, Marketing and Communications Manager,

Email:

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A milestone for Australia’s first lunar mission, Australia’s ELO2 consortium unveils Moon rover prototype

ELO2 Moon Rover Prototype

ELO2 Moon Rover Prototype unveiled at the Andy Thomas Space Foundation forum in Sydney.

Australia’s ELO2 consortium unveils Moon rover prototype

06 December 2023, Sydney – Leading the way in autonomous robotic technology, the ELO2 consortium has unveiled a prototype of what could become Australia’s first lunar rover. The consortium is working on the project under the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Trailblazer program which aims to land the rover on the Moon as part of a future NASA Artemis mission later this decade.

The first glimpse of the rover prototype showcases the unique technology and design elements built into this specialised rover. If selected for the mission, on the Moon’s surface, it will be tasked with transporting lunar regolith (Moon soil) to a NASA-run facility for the extraction of oxygen. The initial prototype focuses on testing chassis and suspension subsystems and features an early design of a collection device and special wheels that will enable the rover to cross the Moon’s challenging terrain.

The rover prototype’s unveiling marks an essential step in this process, focusing initially on testing chassis and suspension subsystems while paving the way for iterative enhancements and expanded functionalities throughout Stage One of the Trailblazer program. ELO2 is one of two consortia chosen by the Australian Space Agency to develop early-stage design concepts for a Moon rover.

This prototype and the following iterations are a practice in de-risking critical technologies, validating requirements, and ensuring their seamless integration – crucial for the success of Australia’s national flagship mission. Prototyping such as this is an important step in testing designs for continuous improvement; something that is essential in the space industry.

Beyond transporting regolith, the rover would autonomously navigate the lunar environment, locate and collect regolith, and is an essential element to enable NASA’s in-situ resource utilisation facility to operate. There, oxygen will be extracted from the regolith, which can be used for Artemis astronauts to breathe and for spacecraft fuel – essential elements for a sustained human presence on the Moon.

Joseph Kenrick, ELO2 Technical Director with Lunar Outpost Oceania, says, “Our consortium’s unveiling of the lunar rover prototype is a testament to Australia’s commitment to space exploration. Through the Trailblazer program, ELO2 is spearheading efforts to de-risk critical technologies while striving to deliver a successful and impactful mission for Australia. This unveiling marks the beginning of an exciting journey and invites every Australian to be part of our nation’s cosmic endeavours.”

The public unveiling of this early rover prototype aims not only to showcase progress but also to engage the Australian public. ELO2 seeks to make space more accessible by actively involving citizens in space exploration and hopes that the display of this prototype will encourage comments, feedback and ideas. Part of the rover design process is involving the Australian public through participation in a range of initiatives, such as the Big Dipper and Little Dipper Challenges which invite people of all ages to present ideas for one element of the rover – the regolith collection device or scoop, for the chance to win prizes and badges. This unveiling, along with today’s naming of the rover by the Australian Space Agency, underscores the reality of Australia’s unique capabilities, STEM engagement and innovative spirit that places the country in a prime position to contribute to missions on the Moon and beyond.

“ELO2 is designing and developing world-leading technology, capitalising on Australia’s strengths, and leveraging Trailblazer funding to develop dual-use critical technologies able to support technology development for AUKUS Pillar II. This initiative extends beyond advancing our space industry; it encompasses critical applications in climate change monitoring, critical mineral sourcing for Earth’s green transition, and remote operations in healthcare. This integrated approach not only benefits our space endeavours but also contributes significantly to vital industries on Earth,” stated Ben Sorensen, Director of Innovation and Commercialization at EPE.”

The ELO2 consortium is a collaborative venture which has combined the strength of Australia’s leading industry partners and research institutions towards the goal of creating Australia’s first lunar rover.  This initial prototype is an early step in this advanced design process, which involves continuous enhancement of the rover’s capabilities throughout Stage One of the Trailblazer program. As the mission progresses, the consortium aims to engage the public, offering insights into the advancements, challenges and discoveries on the path toward Australia’s lunar exploration milestone.

For more information: elo2.au

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Southern Space 2023 with ELO2

Southern Space 2023 conference organised by the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) incorporated a session with ELO2 .

This year’s Southern Space 2023 conference provided a platform for experts, enthusiasts, and industry leaders to converge, share insights, and shape the future of space exploration. The first panel session was an update on the Trailblazer Project from Ben Sorensen from EPE and Joe Kenrick from Lunar Outpost Oceania moderated by Dr Catherine Grace (MBBS).  The 2 companies co-leading the ELO2 consortium appreciate the opportunity to contribute by providing Australia’s space community with a unique perspective and valuable insights on the strides we are making in our mission to send the first Australian rover to the Moon.  They also discussed the range of benefits the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Trailblazer Program provides to Australia in both space and on Earth.

This project isn’t just about going to space; it’s a groundbreaking effort to explore new possibilities on the Moon. The Trailblazer project aims to send the first Australian robot to land on the Moon.

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Royal New Zealand Navy showcases STEM careers

Seven Sharp Ahoy my new career

Awesome footage from the Royal New Zealand Navy School to Seas Camp at Auckland’s Devonport Naval Base. This initiative showcases the extensive STEM career options available in the Navy, with a specific focus on builidng confidence and curiosity in young high school women regarding potential careers in the Navy. Great way to inspire them to consider their future in the navy.

Very impressive pushups in an EOD10 bombsuit!

Acknowledgement: Seven Sharp – Ahoy my new career

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EPE first company qualified to maintain NERVA robotics

EPE first company qualified to maintain NERVA robotics

EPE first company qualified to maintain NERVA robotics

Laurent Bouraoui (Technical Director), Iwan Hauteville (Technician Plasturgist), Bruno Steux (Director of Innovation), Jack Batty, Quentin Fichet (Technician), Romain le Berre ( Sales Export Director)

EPE. Trusted To Protect is honoured by the partnership built with Nexter, and the trust their team has put in our technicians.

Nexter’s transfer of expertise and knowledge to our technicians enables EPE to build the sovereign ability to train, maintain and sustain this important capability domestically in Australia. EPE’s model of developing world class specialist technicians trained and accredited by OEMs, and based in our Maintenance and Support Hubs in Australia and New Zealand, enables us to optimise operational availability while minimising cost and time of repair. A big thank you to the Nexter team for training Jack Batty, who has become one of Australia’s leading robotics technicians, and also to Defence Australia for supporting this training through the Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry (SADI) fund.

 

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Minister orders removal of China-linked cameras from defence premises

Minister orders removal of China-linked cameras from defence premises
Defence Minister Richard Marles has ordered the removal of Chinese surveillance cameras from sensitive Australian government buildings as part of a review.
He announced the inquiry today after an audit revealed nearly 1000 Chinese surveillance cameras were installed at government sites.
The technology is made by Hikvision and Dahua, which have links to the Chinese government.
Minister orders removal of China-linked cameras from defence premises
Defence Minister Richard Marles has ordered the removal of Chinese surveillance cameras from sensitive Australian government buildings as part of a review (Nine)

 

“We’re doing an assessment of all the technology for surveillance within the defence estate and where those particular cameras are found, they’ll be removed,” Marles told the ABC.
“It’s a significant thing that’s been brought to our attention and we’re going to fix it – it’s obviously been there … for some time and predates us coming into office.”

The Defence Department said in the audit the total number of Chinese cameras was unknown but there was at least one.
Marles cautioned the Australian public shouldn’t overreact about the risk of sensitive data being fed to Beijing.
“It’s important that it’s been brought to our attention, it is prudent we do the assessment and act on it,” he told 9News.
Other western countries including the US and Britain have acted to remove Chinese cameras from their government buildings due to concerns they may contain spyware.
Shadow Cyber Security Minister James Paterson said today federal government buildings were “riddled” with the Chinese cameras and ministers needed to draw up plans for their removal.
Minister orders removal of China-linked cameras from defence premises
Coalition Senator James Paterson said federal government buildings were “riddled” with Chinese surveillance cameras and security equipment. (Getty)

 

Paterson issued questions to every federal agency after the Home Affairs Department was unable to say how many of the cameras or related systems were in federal government buildings.
“We urgently need a plan from the Albanese government to rip every one of these devices out of Australian government departments and agencies,” Paterson said.
The cameras and security equipment were found in nearly every department except Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Agriculture Department.
The audit showed the Attorney-General’s Department had 195 of the camera systems installed at 29 sites.
The number in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was not revealed but it had identified at least 28 sites potentially affected.
Paterson said he was concerned about how CCTV technology made by Hikvision and Dahua had been used in China by the communist government.
“Both Hikvision and Dahua have been directly implicated in shocking human rights abuses and mass surveillance of Uyghur minorities in Xinjiang in partnership with the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
Minister orders removal of China-linked cameras from defence premises
Surveillance equipment made by Hikvision is widely used by Chinese security agencies. (AP)

The government review came after the Australian War Memorial in Canberra said it was removing Chinese cameras.

Eleven surveillance cameras will be removed from the memorial by the middle of this year, the Canberra Times reports.
A spokesperson for the memorial told 9news.com.au it does not comment on specific security matters but it “takes its security obligations seriously”.
Acknowledgment of 9News article written on Feb 9, 2023 https://www.9news.com.au/national/chinese-cctv-cameras-removed-from-australian-war-memorial/7f2c4648-d096-43d6-95ea-a23b71e03601
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EPE & Lunar Outpost Oceania Consortium Selected to Participate in the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Trailblazer Initiative, Expanding International Space Relationship between US and Australia

EPE & Lunar Outpost Oceania Consortium Selected to Participate in the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Trailblazer Initiative, Expanding International Space Relationship between US and Australia
L to R : Ben Sorensen, EPE Director of Innovation & Commercialisation | Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency | Senator Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator | Pamela Melroy, NASA Deputy Director | Dr Megan Clark AO, Chair Australian Space Agency | Aude Vignelles, CTO Australian Space Agency | Justin Cyrus, Lunar Outpost Founder ; CEO

 

Lunar Outpost and EPE will co-lead their consortium in supporting Australia’s first-ever mission to the Moon.

Adelaide, SA – March 20, 2023 – Today, Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ed Husic MP, along with dignitaries from the Australian Space Agency and NASA announced the EPE & Lunar Outpost Oceania Consortium as one of two successful groups to receive Stage 1 grant funding from the Australian Government’s Moon to Mars Trailblazer Initiative. The project received grant funding from the Australian Government through the Australian Space Agency.

The Consortium will design critical autonomous lunar mobility and excavation solutions for the Trailblazer Initiative. Co-led by EPE and Lunar Outpost Oceania, the Consortium brings U.S.-based Lunar Outpost, a global leader in commercial planetary mobility, with significant experience leading multiple successful cislunar space missions and collaboration with NASA Artemis program, together with Australia’s EPE, a Queensland-based SME specialising in robotics, autonomous systems, system integration and translation of technology in collaboration with Research and Defence organisations.

The Moon to Mars Trailblazer Initiative seeks to progress Australian space exploration with remotely operated and autonomous Australian robotic lunar assets. In Stage 1 of the Initiative, the Consortium will focus on the design and development of a lunar rover designed to operate in the Moon’s unique environment, leveraging Lunar Outpost’s experience and capabilities in autonomous lunar mobility and excavation solutions. The lunar rover will be capable of collection of lunar regolith for delivery to a NASA science in-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) facility. The EPE & Lunar Outpost Oceania Consortium aim to be selected for Stage 2 of the Initiative and delivery by NASA of an Australian lunar rover to the Moon.

Expanding its presence from the U.S. and EU, Lunar Outpost also announced the formation of Melbourne-based Lunar Outpost Oceania (LOOC), a wholly owned subsidiary established to support and accelerate the Australian aerospace industry. LOOC will leverage the knowledge from prior missions while building local Australian expertise to drive a successful Moon to Mars Trailblazer mission and invigorate Australia’s emerging space industry, resulting in:
● Creation of highly skilled jobs and economic growth that extends beyond the space sector into energy, mining and agriculture.
● Rapid growth and maturation of Australia’s national space capability through important scientific and engineering advancements.
● Formation of bilateral and multilateral public-private collaboration, positioning the space sector as an international front door for civil space activities and partnerships.
● Renewed interest in space for commercial and humanitarian causes, inspiring the future workforce with the future of space travel, habitation and research.

The EPE & Lunar Outpost Oceania Consortium, together with the Australian Space Agency, will connect highly capable and motivated space professionals in Australia with opportunities to leverage leading mining and mineral extraction capabilities. Coupling LOOC’s cislunar mobility expertise with EPE’s extensive experience in Uncrewed Ground Vehicles (UGV), autonomous operations and sensor integrations will accelerate efforts to take advantage of innovation in the space domain to deliver measurable improvements to Australian national security and the sustainability of the mining industry on Earth.

The EPE & Lunar Outpost Oceania Consortium is fortified with depth and expertise from Consortium Partners. Lead organisations include BHP, Northrop Grumman Australia, RMIT University’s Space Industry Hub, and University of Melbourne’s Space Laboratory. University of Adelaide, Inovor, Australian National University, Element Robotics, Colorado School of Mines and Saber Astronautics will provide specialist contributions, and Australian Industry Collaborators include Titomic, One Giant Leap, VIPAC and CD3D.

Co-founder and CEO of Lunar Outpost, Mr Justin Cyrus, is excited to partner with co-lead EPE, on the Australian Government-funded project. “With Trailblazer, our consortium will work with the Australian Space Agency to redefine resource extraction and utilisation. Trailblazer is a unique opportunity to not only utilise resources from another planetary body but also to bring that novel technology back here to Earth to guide mining into a carbon-neutral future; all in pursuit of taking mining and heavy industry into space in the years to come.”

EPE’s Managing Director, Mr Warwick Penrose, said “This is an unparalleled opportunity for the development of sovereign capability in Australia’s space industry. Together with co-lead Lunar Outpost, we’re excited to contribute to the Initiative our many years of experience testing, deploying and operating UGVs in remote and hostile environments, and leveraging the significant capabilities of our Consortium Partners to help develop a global competitive advantage for Australia within an international space exploration program.”

ABOUT LUNAR OUTPOST
Founded in 2017, Lunar Outpost has raised $12 million in funding backed by investors including the Explorer 1 Fund, Promus Ventures, Space Capital, Type One Ventures and Cathexis Ventures. In late 2022 Lunar Outpost announced the development of the commercially funded 15 kg Mobile Autonomous Prospecting Platform (MAPP) rover—including a payload mass allocation for MIT—scheduled for delivery by an Intuitive Machines lander to the lunar South Pole in 2023. The company is currently developing the
20 kg Lunar Vertex MAPP rover for a 2024 NASA-funded science and exploration mission to the equatorial Reiner Gamma site, supported by the NASA Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) program. In addition, Lunar Outpost was recently granted a NASA Lunar Surface Technology Research (LuSTR) award in partnership with the Colorado School of Mines and Michigan Technological University to develop and mature lunar regolith excavation technologies, with an end goal of successful demonstration on the Moon. Lunar Outpost is an industry leader in commercial space robotics, lunar surface mobility, and in-situ resource utilisation. From our terrestrial product lines revolutionising the air quality sector to the creation of oxygen on Mars, their impact spans the solar system. Lunar Outpost’s flagship rover, the Mobile Autonomous Prospecting Platform, will be the first commercial rover to the lunar South Pole in 2023. Find out more at: lunaroutpost.com. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram.

ABOUT EPE
In its 25th year of operation, EPE’s purpose is to enable and protect Australians and allies operating in hazardous environments. EPE provides specialist support to government agencies and defence organisations to undertake design and integration activities, and deliver niche capabilities in robotics, sensors and effectors for deployment in hazardous environments. EPE works closely with industry and research and development organisations to develop technology and products for commercialisation, and provides technology verification and validation (V&V) services at its south-east Queensland-based MILTECS facilities (Military Training, Evaluation, Certification and Systems Assurance).

Find out more at: www.epequip.com. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter .

Media contacts:
For Australia and Asia Pacific contact Narelle Hoffman, Marketing and Communications Manager, EPE. Phone: +61 (0)402 486 393 or email:
For USA contact Kealy O’Brien, Marketing Manager, Lunar Outpost.
Phone: +1 661 703 0523 Email:

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Head of NASA visit to Australia highlights space partnership

Head of NASA visit to Australia highlights space partnership
The Hon Ed Husic MP

In a continuing sign of the close co-operation between Australia and the United States, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Bill Nelson and Deputy Administrator Pamela Melroy are visiting Australia this week, in the first visit of a sitting NASA Administrator to our shores since 2014.

Australia has a long history of collaboration in space with the US dating back to the 1950s, including helping to broadcast the Apollo 11 Moon landing to the world and tracking the most recent Artemis mission.

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said, “It’s fantastic to welcome the head of NASA to Australia. We have been working with the US in space for more than 65 years, and I look forward to meeting Senator Nelson later this week to discuss how that continues long into the future”.

To mark the visit, Minister Husic announced grants for two successful Australian consortiums under the Government’s Moon to Mars Trailblazer initiative.

The AROSE consortium and the EPE and Lunar Outpost Oceania consortium will each receive $4 million to design early-stage prototypes of a semi-autonomous rover, as part of stage one of the Trailblazer program.

Minister Husic said, “Drawing on Australia’s world leading remote operations, the rover will collect lunar soil known as regolith from the Moon and deliver it to a NASA payload, which will attempt to extract oxygen from the sample”.

The rover, which aims to launch by 2026, is part of the NASA Moon to Mars mission which will be a major step towards a sustainable human presence on the Moon and supporting future missions to Mars.

Each winning consortium is made up of a mixture of Australian industries, space start-ups, major resources companies, universities, and other research partners.

The Trailblazer program will help further develop Australia’s robotics and automation capability, aligning with the development of the Australian Government’s National Robotics Strategy.

“It is great that, with this announcement, Administrator Nelson will get to witness first-hand the extensive knowledge and capability in our space sector, as well as robotics and automation more broadly.

“From those selected to be part of the Trailblazer program, to other industry success stories and our impressive universities and research organisations, Australia has much to be proud of.

“Programs like Trailblazer are important to growing our space sector, as well as our know-how in robotics and automation. It also has an important role to play in inspiring more young Australians to consider STEM careers,” Minister Husic said.

Quotes attributable to NASA Administrator Senator Bill Nelson:

“I’m excited to be working with Australia on this important lunar mission.

“It’s cooperation like this that will enable NASA and our international partners to uncover more discoveries. In this new era of space exploration, every advancement is not an achievement for one country – but for all of humanity”.

Background

NASA officials will visit Adelaide, where the Australian Space Agency is headquartered, and Canberra.

The itinerary includes the launch of a new Indigenous internship program, an industry event, a tour of a collaborative space research facility, meetings at Parliament House and an address from the Administrator to the National Press Club on Thursday 23 March.

Published 20th of March 2023 on Minister  Ed Husic MP Media release https://www.minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/husic/media-releases/head-nasa-visit-australia-highlights-space-partnership 

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Victoria Police to replace all Chinese-made cameras by end of 2024

Victoria_Police_Ban_Chinese_Drones_2024_EPE_news

Victoria Police has confirmed it will replace all Chinese-made cameras by the end of next year amid a growing debate about how best to counter foreign intelligence gathering.

The force said a number of cameras were still operating across the state and despite being deemed low risk, would be progressively replaced.

Victoria Police China Drone News

Earlier this week, the Victorian government confirmed it would conduct an audit of all security cameras at government-owned sites. The federal government has already removed hundreds of Chinese-made devices from Commonwealth departments and locations such as the Australian War Memorial.

As The Age revealed on Tuesday, the City of Greater Geelong is replacing Chinese-made CCTV cameras amid concerns the makers of such devices are compelled to hand over data to Beijing if asked.

A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said the agency was aware of the debate surrounding Chinese-made cameras.

“There continues to be a number of Chinese-manufactured cameras used across the state and these are being progressively replaced,” she said.

Clampdown on Chinese-made CCTV cameras in Australian government buildings.

The spokeswoman added that while police would continue to monitor the situation, the cameras in question were currently considered low-risk because they were connected to a secure network.

“It is expected the cameras in question will all be replaced by the end of 2024,” she said.

The development has been welcomed by upper house Liberal Democrats MP David Limbrick, whose party opposes mass surveillance. Devices made by Chinese companies Hikvision and Dahua have been linked to Beijing’s efforts to ramp up facial recognition technology, and coerce and control Uyghur minorities.

“It’s good to know the replacement of cameras is on the police’s to-do list,” Limbrick said.

“But it would be even more reassuring if they could demonstrate they knew how many cameras there were and could express a bit of urgency about it.”

Victorian Liberal senator James Paterson, who has been pursuing this issue at a federal level through Senate estimates, said he’d like Victoria Police to replace all Chinese-made cameras before the end of 2024.

“I’d like to see much more urgency,” he said. “If they are a national security risk, there should be no delay in addressing it.”

Hikvision has said it was categorically false to suggest the company was a threat to national security.

A Victorian government spokesperson said: “This is a matter for Victoria Police.”

Acknowledgement of The Age news article written by Broede Carmody on Ferbuary 23, 2023. https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/victoria-police-to-replace-all-chinese-made-cameras-by-end-of-2024-20230223-p5cmwp.html

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Preserving Nepal’s Temple with Skydio 3D Scan

Preserving Nepal’s Temple with Skydio 3DScan_News

 

Culturally historic sites across the globe are a gateway to our past, binding us to our ancestors’ way of life. Every site is vulnerable to destruction and can disappear in an instant. Whether this is from man-made events like the war in Ukraine where UNESCO has sited over 150 sites damaged or destroyed, or natural disasters such as the severe 2015 earthquake in Nepal which destroyed 80% of the historic structures and temples in both Bhaktapur and Kathmandu Durbar Squares. There is an alarming need to accelerate conservation efforts through the digital documentation of historic sites in order to preserve them for the future and ensure documentation is sufficient should sites need to be rebuilt.

Deep in the Himalayas, Nepal is home to ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites, seven of which are located in the Kathmandu Valley. Kathmandu Valley is an ancient cultural and administrative hub that is home to thousands of temples, monuments, and palaces of significant cultural and historical importance.

Preserving Nepal’s Temple with Skydio 3DScan_1

In April 2015, Nepal suffered a devastating 7.8 earthquake, resulting in massive loss of life with nearly 9,000 deaths and thousands more injured. Over 6,000 structures were damaged in Kathmandu. It took a substantial period of time for relevant agencies to even start the reconstruction of the heritage sites, as no accurate and detailed scans existed nor were there enough resources to complete all of them within a short timeframe.

Partnering with Nepal Flying Labs

In 2021, Skydio partnered with WeRobotics to host a microgrant scholarship to Flying Labs across the globe in order to provide resources and support for projects in which Skydio Autonomy and products could provide an immensely positive impact. Each Flying Labs emerges from locally-led efforts in response to pressing challenges in a community. Of the proposals submitted, Nepal Flying Labs was selected as a recipient for their project to create a digital twin by mapping Changu Narayan Temple, the oldest temple in Kathmandu Valley dating back to the 5th Century. During the 2015 earthquake, the two-tier pagoda temples of Changu Narayan were seriously damaged, highlighting the growing need for digital preservation.

Nepal Flying Labs pilots initiatives with international humanitarian organizations and the local governments to support emergency response and reconstruction through the use of emerging technologies. Their early initiatives initially focused heavily on damage assessment and situational analysis before taking a more proactive role in preservation as technologies improved and new solutions emerged. Based on the experience of Nepal Flying Labs working with multiple governments at both local and central level during other mapping projects, the main challenge identified during the reconstruction efforts of heritage sites after the 2015 earthquake was a way to preserve the physical presence, integrity and architectural aesthetics of the structures, some of which date back several hundreds of years.

In this regard, Nepal Flying Labs stated recent studies show that, with the frequent earthquakes and the subsequent aftershocks, most of the historical buildings and cultural sites in Nepal, along with the ones in Changu Narayan Municipality, have taken heavy amounts of damage, making the structures fragile and vulnerable over time.

Preserving Nepal’s Temple with Skydio 3DScan_4

Mapping Heritage Sites with Skydio 3D Scan

By leveraging Skydio 3D Scan to create a digital twin of Changu Narayan Temple, any agency such as Department of Archaeology, UNESCO, Changu Narayan Municipality, representatives from world heritage sites, and any other concerned stakeholder and individuals are able to use the high resolution images, video clips and 3D model for aiding in reconstruction and documenting structural changes over time. Throughout the process, Nepal Flying Labs worked cooperatively with multiple agencies, such as Department of Archaeology, Changu Narayan Temple Preservation Committee, District Administrative Office, and local police to assist in the logistics of permits, drone operation permissions, and closing off the site for a short period of time to conduct flights. Nepal Flying Labs was able to safely fly around the temple and close enough to capture intricate details thanks to Skydio Autonomy and reduced obstacle avoidance. After the flights, the data was processed in Bentley’s Context Capture to create the Changu Narayan Temple 3D Model. Nepal Flying labs and the local municipality now have a foundation to compare future scans against to assess deterioration, damages, and weather affecting the structure over time; a digital interactive health status.

Preserving Nepal’s Temple with Skydio 3DScan_5

The process of mapping of Changu Narayan Temple provides insight into the complex nature of how to approach conservation of Heritage sites using drones. Nepal Flying Labs approached the project with extreme care as the sentiments of the local communities need to be well understood and critically evaluated. Historically, mapping heritage sites, especially with drones, is banned unless there is an extremely critical need for the work. They formed a consortium of relevant government authorities, and local stakeholders to obtain consent for data acquisition as it was crucial for heritage mapping and maintaining the integrity of heritage sites. We would like to thank the officials from the Changu Narayan Municipality and the Department of Archaeology for their support in securing permissions for drone flights in the temple’s No Fly Zone airspace; this aspect of the work was handled with the utmost care and cooperation. This partnership highlights how vital it is to utilize locally led, on the ground, organizations as they live in the communities they operate in and have a deeper understanding of the local culture and practices in order to maintain the integrity of the site’s value to the community.

Next Steps in Heritage Preservation

After the success of documenting this first heritage site, Nepal Flying Labs is continuing to work with the Government of Nepal on efforts to map and create digital twins of other World Heritage Sites in Nepal. They are organizing a technical workshop with the Department of Archaeology in the near future with  experts in historic preservation to gather additional feedback on improvements for continuing heritage documentation. Skydio’s expert obstacle avoidance makes it an ideal platform for mapping historic sites closely without fear of crashing or damaging the site. At Skydio, we look forward to supporting Nepal Flying Labs in their efforts to preserve these historic sites for future generations.

There will never be a perfect social or economical time to engage in cultural and historical preservation initiatives. It’s vital to start now, because mother nature and war don’t pause for preservation. Locally led efforts lead to a significantly higher project sustainability due to locals understanding and living in the communities they are trying to help. Heritage preservation projects take time; it means working with local authorities, government officials, working through elections, and local aviation authorities which can range anywhere from a couple months to a couple years. All the more reason on the ground locally led efforts are needed. Skydio understands it may take years for our technology to reach various communities and corners of the world. Which is why, if there is a deep need in your community for support much like the Nepal Flying Labs, please reach out to Skydio For All at .

Acknowledgement of  Skydio article written by Mira Marquez on March 7, 2023. https://www.skydio.com/blog/digital-reconstruction-nepal-changu-narayan-temple?utm_campaign=Skydio+For+All&utm_content=social-LinkedIn&utm_medium=social&utm_post=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.linkedin.com%2Ffeed%2Fupdate%2Furn%3Ali%3AugcPost%3A7038984784689172480&utm_profile=Skydio&utm_source=LinkedIn&utm_tags=

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Australian partnership protecting public and private organisations against airborne threats

Australian partnership protecting public and private organisations against airborne threats

proactive-measures-against-airborne-threats-to-safety


New Australian partnership protecting public and private organisations against airborne threats to safety, security and privacy. DroneShield Ltd (ASX:DRO) (“DroneShield”), a global leader in drone detection and mitigation and EPE Trusted to Protect, Top 20 SME supplier to the Australian Defence Force, announce a Partnership.

The emergence of small, lightweight, low cost drones offer many hobbyist and commercial applications, while enabling criminals, activists and others a new way to remotely deploy threats. Drones present one of the most challenging and dynamic emerging threats to defence forces on operations, to law enforcement, and to major events and critical infrastructure domestically. They can deliver contraband into prisons, carry out surveillance of military bases and assets, create major disturbances at high profile events, and deliver IEDs in combat zones.

DroneShield develops drone security solutions that protect people, organisations and critical infrastructure from unwanted intrusion by drones. Its leadership brings world-class expertise in engineering and physics, combined with deep experience in defence, intelligence, and aerospace. Oleg Vornik, DroneShield’s Chief Executive Officer said ‘EPE and DroneShield are both Australian owned companies with clear synergies. EPE has a solid record of delivering solutions to protect military, law enforcement and first responders in Australia and New Zealand for 30 years, providing world class equipment, training and integrated logistic support for the life of that equipment.’

Director of EPE, Warwick Penrose said ‘DroneShield has developed a complete suite of technologies that enable organisations to detect, identify, monitor, or mitigate drones flying in controlled airspace (within legislative requirements).  EPE has counter drone technology already operating at a number of Australian sites, and the DroneShield offering gives an increased flexibility to provide discrete levels of protection dictated by our customers’ needs and budgets.

EPE’s strength is built on providing integrated solutions fully customised to meet our customers’ unique requirements whilst maintaining integrity in terms of quality, training and through life support. DroneShield is the only counter-drone company that has been accepted for membership of the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe. ACI Europe represents more than 500 airports in 45 European countries, including virtually every major European airport.

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NZDF has signed an HDT Equipment Master Services Agreement with EPE

NZDF has signed an HDT Equipment ‘Master Services Agreement’ with EPE

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has signed an Equipment Master Services Agreement (MSA) with EPE for HDT. The NZDF’s current HDT shelter systems include Network Enabled Army, C4ISR Common Command Post Operating Environment (CCPOE), Role Two Enhanced (R2E) Medical Infrastructure and in the pipeline is a Deployable Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (DJIATF) Headquarters.  The intent of the contract is to deliver optimal levels of Through-life Support and operational availability, without adding complexity or cost to existing lines of support. The agreement is for all equipment, spares, in-service support, and purchasing of new systems across the NZDF Services.

EPE Managing Director, Warwick Penrose said “The Agreement enables the NZDF to optimise operational availability and save time and resources in the purchase of HDT systems, as they can buy them under the Agreement efficiently and cost-effectively.  This is a logical step as EPE’s support to New Zealand has been steadily growing over the last 10 years with EPE delivering equipment, training and Through Life Support across the CBRNE and ECM capability area, and we are the Exclusive Representative of HDT Global in Australia and New Zealand.  The contract has been negotiated by, and will be managed by EPE’s New Zealand team.’’

EPE has two further MSA contracts with the NZDF supporting EPE provided EOD and IEDD equipment as well as providing support to other government agencies.

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MESMER™ Counter UAS capability selected as finalist in ThunderDrone II

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Counter Drone Solutions

MESMER™ Counter UAS capability selected as finalist in ThunderDrone II. Following successful trials at both Phase 1 and 2, MESMER™ has been selected to participate in the final round Phase 3 which will be held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, from the 18th-20th of June. EPE is partnered with Department 13 to distribute, integrate, install, train and support MESMER™ in Australia and New Zealand and is in planning stage for advanced assembly of MESMER™ from our base in Queensland.

The ThunderDrone trials were initiated by SOFWERX upon the request of the United States Special Operations Command (“USSOCOM”) and Strategic Capabilities Office to assess the Unmanned Aerial Systems industry and leading technology within this field.

ThunderDrone II saw more than 450 Unmanned Aerial Systems technologies submitted, with 95 Companies invited to move forward and present in Tampa in January 2018. MESMER™ was a top performer at this event and was one of 34 companies invited to the ThunderDrone II demonstrations, held at Fort Bragg in April 2018. D13 is one of the final 6 companies selected for the final phase of the event.

D13’s progression in ThunderDrone II is evidence of MESMER™s superior capabilities in Drone detection, identification and mitigation. Department 13 CEO, Jonathan Hunter, commented: “We are very excited to be selected as a finalist of ThunderDrone II to demonstrate MESMER™s superior capabilities and to network with Government and military officials. The D13 team have received overwhelming positive feedback from event organizers, USSOCOM representatives and +280 Government official attendees of both events. Trials and Demonstrations represent a key component of D13’s sales and marketing strategy, as these demonstration events of emerging technologies are the predominant method of assessment prior to procurement for Government agencies. MESMER™s progress to the final stage of ThunderDrone II has already delivered multiple sales leads and the D13 team continues to work to convert these opportunities to unit sales.”

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Defence Innovation Hub Proof of Concept delivered by EPE

Defence Innovation Hub Proof of Concept delivered by EPE

Defence Innovation Hub Proof of Concept delivered by EPE

EPE has completed the first phase of the innovation project awarded under the Defence Innovation Hub.  EPE worked with Defence to integrate a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) capability (Amulet) that can be deployed remotely using TALON, the current in-service medium sized Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and demonstrated a Proof of Concept (POC) to prove the integration could work.

As separate entities, the Amulet and the Talon are proven and known capabilities, the POC was therefore designed specifically around proving they could be integrated to achieve a remote standoff detection capability. The POC was highly successful and the logical progression is to now produce a prototype of this capability.

Warwick Penrose, Managing Director of EPE said “The GPR for UGV project recognises EPE’s long term commitment and investment in building and developing sovereign Force Protection capabilities that help take Australian servicemen out of the danger area. The commitment made by the Defence Innovation Hub to support Australian industry in concept development and prototyping, will allow EPE to accelerate the development and delivery of innovative capabilities that meet the specific needs of the ADF.  In addition, the technologies developed for the ADF right here in Australia, have equal application with neighbouring countries as well as traditional coalition partners.  This creates the potential to generate strong export opportunities, expand our ability to create new employment roles and offer long term job security.”

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EPE awarded $1 million Contract under the Defence Innovation Hub fund

PRIED-Maririme_ EPE awarded $1 million Contract under the Defence Innovation Hub fund

PRIED-Maririme_ EPE awarded $1 million Contract under the Defence Innovation Hub fund
EPE awarded $1 million Contract under the Defence Innovation Hub fund.
The Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne has announced the second contract awarded to Zangold Pty Ltd (trading as EPE.Trusted to Protect) under the Defence Innovation Hub fund.  This project funded to the value of $1 million involves EPE working with Navy to develop a portable capability to assist with the stand-off detection and identification of homemade explosives, chemical warfare agents, narcotics and gases during the conduct of Maritime Operations. Warwick Penrose, Director of EPE said ‘We’re proud to be working closely with Defence to develop this next generation force protection capability for those members of the Royal Australian Navy performing hazardous boarding operations. This innovation has the potential to deliver a new paradigm in boarding operations enabling stand-off detection prior to boarding.’

“The PRIED project recognises EPE’s long term commitment and investment in building and developing sovereign force protection capabilities that help take Australian servicemen out of the danger zone. Our team delivers a broad spectrum of innovative Force Protection capabilities that are in service today with the ADF, NZDF as well as local and federal police and first responders” Warwick said.
This Innovation Hub Project funded by the Federal government gives EPE the opportunity to further develop this technology which has been deployed for force protection on land operations and modify it to meet the unique requirements for a maritime application. 

“For this Project, we are partnering with ALAKAI Defense Systems, the manufacturer of PRIED and EPE has also extended our relationships with local engineering and fabrication companies as part of our commitment to fostering an innovative local supply chain. EPE is working with Australian based manufacturers to provide a holistic Maritime capability.” Warwick Penrose said.

EPE employs 20 people, and is headquartered in Brisbane with offices in Canberra, Albury/Wodonga and NZ.

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EPE ranks 10th in Top 20 Australian SME suppliers to Defence

EPE ranks 17th in Top 20 Defence SME suppliers to ADF

 

EPE ranks 10th in Top 20 Australian SME suppliers to Defence
Australian Defence Magazine (ADM) has released their rankings of the Top Contractors to the Australian Defence Force.  The ADM ranking lists the top Contractors to the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces. In the Top 20 SME ranking for 2017, EPE is 17th among SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises).  In the Top 20 ANZ SME ranking (which includes only Australian and New Zealand owned suppliers) EPE is ranked 10th.  Our consistently rising position in this ranking since 2011, demonstrates EPE’s solid commitment to providing solutions to the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces that protect our soldiers. As an Australian owned and managed small business, our strength has always been our positioning to deliver world-leading solutions, supported by performance based contracting ILS and specialist training, while maintaining our unique ability to be agile and responsive to our customers requirements. 

We thank ADM for their support of Australian businesses in the Defence sector.

 

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Drone collides with commercial aeroplane in Canada

Drone collides with commercial aeroplane in Canada

Drone collides with commercial aeroplane

Drone collides with commercial aeroplane in Canada.  

A drone has collided with a commercial aircraft in Canada, the first such incident in the country, according to the Transport Ministry.  As reported by BBC News, the drone struck one of the plane’s wings, while six passengers and two crew members were aboard.

The aircraft sustained only minor damage and was able to land safely, the Canadian transport minister said.

Earlier this year, Canada announced that it was making it illegal to fly recreational drones near airports.

The law prohibited airborne drones within 5.5km (3.5 miles) of an airport and restricted the height of a drone’s flight to 90 metres (300ft).

Those breaking the restrictions could face fines of up to 25,000 Canadian dollars ($20,000, £15,000).

The Skyjet flight was heading to Quebec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport when the drone hit it on 12 October.

In a statement, transport minister Marc Garneau said: “Although the vast majority of drone operators fly responsibly, it was our concern for incidents like this that prompted me to take action and issue interim safety measures restricting where recreational drones could be flown.

“I would like to remind drone operators that endangering the safety of an aircraft is extremely dangerous and a serious offence.”

According to a UK Airprox Board report, a drone passed directly over the wing of an aircraft approaching Gatwick Airport this summer.

The drone was “flown into conflict” with the Airbus 319, with a high risk of collision, read the report.

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EPE Director Warwick Penrose spoke at World of Drones Congress

EPE Director Warwick Penrose spoke at World of Drones Congress_02

EPE Director Warwick Penrose spoke at World of Drones Congress in Brisbane sponsored by the Queensland Government.  The Congress focused on How Drones are Changing the World – emerging technologies, service delivery, humanitarian response, smart communitites and farms.  While the prime emphasis was on the new drone economy , the role of drones in Smart Cities, and Emergency and Humanitarian Response, Warwick spoke under the Stream: Risk, Regulation, Safety and Resilience, on the emerging threat posed by drones in urban environments. Threats range from the careless drone enthusiast, to criminals intent on evading law enforcement, to malicious use by terrorists.  This creates risk to public safety at major events,  risk to critical infrastructure, unwanted surveillance of government assets and facilities, airborne delivery of contraband into prisons, and airborne delivery of IEDs and chemical and biological warfare agents.

Warwick discussed th Department 13 Counter Drone platform, Mesmer.  Mesmer  utilises sophisticated detection and mitigation strategies that automatically detect, identify, mitigate redirect, land or take total control of a target drone or other radio-controlled device.  Mesmer RF protocol manipulation takes advantage of weaknesses inherent in digital radio protocols.  Mesmer is designed for both commercial and defense/ security organisations to deal with the emerging threat of autonomous systems.

Mesmer recognises unique radio signal features and other communication metadata to select and apply strategies that curtail drone threats, unlike other systems that use radio jamming and standard electronic mitigation techniques.  Mesmer’s protocol manipulation is low-power, operating below 1 watt and within regulatory constraints. Low power is an advantage as it only affects targeted radio-controlled devices – not non-targeted communication signals in the vicinity.

Warwick also sat on the Safety Discussion Panel at the Congress lead by James Coyne from UAS International, and joined by Jackie Dujmovic from Hover UAV, Professor Tristan Perez from QUT, and Brooke Tapsall from Airport UAV.

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New Qld Police EORT Bombcat is super cool

New Qld Police EORT Bombcat is super cool

New Qld Police EORT Bombcat is super cool. Great job Peter Henderson and the EORT team.
Minister for Police Mark Ryan and Commissioner Ian Stewart today announced the arrival of a new armoured vehicle for the Queensland Police Service Explosive Ordnance Response Team (EORT).

Commissioner Stewart said the vehicle will ensure police right across Queensland, including specialist units, have the resources they need to keep Queenslanders safe.

“The Bombcat has been designed specifically to support EORT operational requirements but is also able to fully support interoperability with both Negotiator and Special Emergency Response Team requirements, during high risk incidents,” Commissioner Stewart said.

“These operations can include tasks where explosive devices, as well as firearms are present.

“At seven metres long, two and a half metres wide and three metres high, this machine means serious business.”
Minister Ryan said the vehicle will help to keep not only Queensland communities safe, but to also ensure the safety of frontline men and women.

“This $600,000 investment means that Queensland now has an armoured vehicle that uses advanced ballistic and blast protection and allows the safe deployment of specialist staff at high risk jobs including tasks where explosive devices, as well as firearms are present,” Minister Ryan said.

“The Queensland Police currently have two armoured vehicles, known as Bearcats, however our new Bombcat is like the big brother to our existing Bearcats – it’s bigger, stronger and will offer our police an extra level of protection.

“The Bombcat was purpose built to meet the needs of the Queensland Police Service and uses leading edge technology to protect officers and the community from explosives threats.”

from QPS Media on Mar 22, 2017 @ 2:54pm

While the BOMBCAT is road ready, the bullet resistant vehicle is unlikely to be seen on your street any time soon.

In Queensland, the Special Emergency and Response Team (SERT) will only be deployed to pre-planned operations that are high-risk situations deemed by a deputy commissioner or delegate.

The smaller model, the BEARCAT armoured personnel carrier, was however used last year to batter down a gate on a property with an ongoing siege, where a gunman held hostages for nine hours.

A similar situation occurred in Tasmania when a BEARCAT was used by special operations police to breach the perimeter fence of a Bandidos clubhouse.

from The Queensland Times

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EPE Managing Director speaking at World of Drones Congress 2017

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Countering the Threat of Drones in Urban Environments

 

EPE Managing Director, Warwick Penrose is speaking at the World of Drones Congress 2017 to be held in Brisbane from 31st August to 2nd September.  

Warwick will present re Countering the Threat of Drones in Urban Environments.  

The global proliferation of Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), especially low cost Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) RPAS has presented a new threat dimension for a range of differing organisations with a safety oriented framework and focus.  Whether being used by hobbyists, enthusiasts, or indeed for malicious purposes, RPAS present a dynamic risk requiring an agile and adaptable response capability. RPAS pose many threats including to critical infrastructure, high profile public events, security in the corrective services system, and through illegal surveillance of police tactical operations. Typical methods used to counter the threats posed by drones include approaches such as electronic warfare jamming and kinetic weapons.

Department 13’s (D13) Mesmer, an open architecture software platform that uses machine learning and protocol manipulation to detect, identify, track, and mitigate a variety of autonomous systems including many commercial, off the shelf drone platforms counters this threat.  Mesmer’s approach is unique, employing protocol manipulation to deliver extremely targeted mitigations requiring minimal power; often less than a single Watt at one Kilometre range. Mesmer’s mitigation approach enhances security posture with respect to drones by enabling a series of controlled outcomes.  For example Mesmer enables the following:

  • Take control of one or many drones. (Land, Stop/Hold, Go-Home)
  • Redirection to designated LZ.
  • Interrogates sensors on the drones.

Mesmer’s primary sensor array is based on software defined radios (SDR’s) as both primary sensor and effector apparatus.  All Mesmer systems contain an embedded SDR configuration, although, because of Mesmer’s Linux based open architecture, it can integrate with other sensor platforms such as radar, acoustical or optical.

 

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Protecting First Responders Against the Threat of Fentanyl

Protecting First Responders Against the Threat of Fentanyl
Fentanyl threat to first responders
Fentanyl threat to first responders

Protecting First Responders Against the Threat of Fentanyl

EDGEWOOD, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Smiths Detection Inc. (SDI) is at the forefront of arming first responders with solutions to safeguard against the presence of fentanyl. Working directly with international law enforcement and hazmat agencies, SDI has adapted a range of existing technologies to be able to quickly and accurately detect fentanyl and its analogues on scene.

“The new fentanyl threat to first responders is real and severe since accidental contact with- or inhalation-of very small amounts can be life threatening. The right technology can help first responders make better informed decisions about how best to protect themselves from fentanyl and its analogues during emergencies.”

Fentanyl, if inhaled, may lead to respiratory arrest, is 50 times more lethal than heroin and 100 times more lethal than morphine. It is prompting fears of a public health crisis and a threat to the safety of first responders who may not be aware of its presence during a response.

SDI has adapted three of its leading technologies to detect and identify fentanyl, including:

  • IONSCAN 600 – used in airports, corrections facilities and security checkpoints across the world, this portable system detects invisible amounts of narcotics like fentanyl, and explosives, in seconds.
  • HazMatID Elite/Target ID – an infrared handheld chemical identifier performs chemical analysis on bulk amounts of solids and liquids, which may be used as court-admissible evidence.
  • ACE-ID – utilizes laser Raman technology which allows users to test bulk quantities of unknown substances without contact, including through plastic and glass.

The technologies were designed to complement each other in response scenarios but can work independently. SDI also enhanced its ReachBackID 24/7 hotline to give first responders using these technologies access to Ph.D. scientists to support the field-based analysis of fentanyl and several of its analogues.

Shan Hood, Vice President of Product & Technology for Smiths Detection, said: “The new fentanyl threat to first responders is real and severe since accidental contact with- or inhalation-of very small amounts can be life threatening. The right technology can help first responders make better informed decisions about how best to protect themselves from fentanyl and its analogues during emergencies.”

Smiths Detection, part of Smiths Group, is a global leader in threat detection and screening technologies for military, air transportation, homeland security and emergency response markets. Our experience and history across more than 40 years at the frontline, enables us to provide unrivalled levels of expertise to detect and identify constantly changing chemical, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats, as well as weapons, dangerous goods, contraband and narcotics.

Our goal is simple – to provide security, peace of mind and freedom of movement upon which the world depends. For more information visit www.smithsdetection.com

August 03, 2017 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time Smiths Detection Inc.

Media Release http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170803005826/en/Smiths-Detection-Technology-Protects-Responders-Threat-Fentanyl

 

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Drone enthusiast lands device on deck of £3bn aircraft carrier.

Drone-enthusiast-lands-device-on-deckn-aircraft-carrier

Drone-enthusiast-lands-device-on-deck-of-£3bn-aircraft-carrier._Britains-new-aircraft-carrier-HMS-Queen

Drone enthusiast ‘amazed’ as he lands device on deck of £3bn HMS Queen Elizabeth without being detected

It is a £3bn state-of-the-art investment, commissioned to reassert Britain’s supremacy on the high seas.

But this week the Royal Navy was left blushing after it emerged that an amateur enthusiast managed to land a £300 drone on the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth – without anyone raising the alarm.

According to local media reports in Scotland, the drone user managed to fly the drone past armed patrol boats before landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier.

The pilot, who is yet to be named, told reporters this week that he had been “amazed” how easy it had been to carry out the stunt.

“I was amazed that I was able to land on the aircraft carrier for two reasons, the first being that there was no one about to prevent it from landing although were security police around in small boats who were waving at the drone,” he said.

“The second reason was more technical. I received a high wind warning as I was videoing up and down the flight deck and my control system advised me to land.”

He added that when attempted to discuss his concerns about security with crew members, he returned to find a “ghost ship”.

 “There was absolutely no-one around when I landed, it was like a ghost ship,” he continued.

“After I posted the picture taken from the flight deck I got some flak from other drone users who were saying ‘You are going to make a lot of people unhappy’. I thought the only law I had broken was that I flew over a vessel I didn’t have control over.

“I was a bit concerned so I drove round to Invergordon and spoke to the port security and explained that I wanted to speak to someone from the ship such as the duty watch or the captain about what I had done.

“I was only able to speak to some heavily armed police, I think from the MoD, and they said there was no-one available on the carrier as they were at dinner ashore.”

“No-one seemed too concerned, but the officer I spoke to said he would pass it up the chain of command. I was fascinated by the Queen Elizabeth and wanted to have a crack at filming her. I wasn’t out to get anyone in trouble. What’s done is done, and I can’t undo the images I shot.

“I think if the MoD were in any way bothered by this then these videos and stills would not have been allowed to see the light of day.”

Whilst the anonymous drone pilot appeared relaxed about his exploits, the disclosure has prompted concern among military and security experts.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, Lord West, a former First Sea Lord, said it was worrying because terrorist groups such as Islamic State had already used drones in the Middle East to launch bombs.

He said: “Daesh [Islamic State] are already using drones to deliver bombs in Syria, so I think it is something we need to take very seriously.

“The fact drones can reach it is a worry. The Queen Elizabeth is doing some work with helicopters and if a drone hits a helicopter that could be very dangerous.

“We need to have harsher punishments if you fly a drone into a carrier’s air space. There’s a real risk from drones and [it’s] something we need to take very seriously.”

Commenting, an MoD spokesperson said: “We take the security of HMS Queen Elizabeth very seriously. This incident has been reported to Police Scotland, an investigation is underway and we stepped up our security measures in light of it.”

See full article by 12 AUGUST 2017 • 9:15AM

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/12/drone-enthusiast-avoids-detection-lands-vehicle-3bn-hms-elizabeth/

Photo: Britain’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth

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Mesmer™ counter-drone solution demonstration

unsw-cntt-adfa-mesmer-demo-4

EPE and Department 13 demonstrated Mesmer™ counter-drone solution  to potential defence, security and law enforcement customers from a range of federal and state government agencies.  The demonstrations held at ADFA as part of the Counter Non Traditional Threats Conference hosted by the UNSW Capability Systems Centre, were attended by over 200 people.

The Mesmer Counter Drone Demonstration showcased a non-kinetic mitigation of Unmanned Aerial Systems.  MESMER™ can detect, identify and mitigate either hostile or nuisance drones across a range of national security, defence or commercial applications. The solution utilises patented protocol manipulation technology to take over the drone when it flies into a defined air space. Once the operator has control of the drone the threat can be mitigated in a way that is not dangerous to personnel or infrastructure in the area

Mesmer is one of the only C-UAS technologies that focuses on protocol manipulation to mitigate the threat. Department 13 CEO Jonathan Hunter said the technique uses signal features and metadata to select and apply strategies including “taking control” of the UAS, flying it, and landing it safely in a location of choice.

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Australian Counter IED experts deliver bomb search training to PNG

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Brisbane based Counter IED experts deliver specialist bomb search training to PNG in preparation for 2018 APEC.

A team of instructors from Brisbane firm EPE, has delivered a series of specialist bomb search training courses to members of various agencies in the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby.  The progressive training took twenty students through Basic Search, Search Team Leader and Search Commander training over a three week period.  The training has produced a core group of trained personnel from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) and the Correction Service who are now able to plan and manage complex search operations to support high profile events such as the upcoming APEC conference to be held in 2018 and the FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup that begins on the 4th of November.

With support from the Australian Federal Police, the EPE team was able to gain access to a number of hotels, sports stadiums and other venues in the Port Moresby area to enable realistic search operations to take place.  The training was funded by the Australian Government as part of their ongoing support and capacity building to Papua New Guinea.

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MesmerTM counter-drone solution demonstration, Metricon Stadium

mesmer-demo-metricon-2

EPE and Department 13 this week demonstrated the MesmerTM counter-drone solution to potential defence, security and law enforcement customers from a range of federal and state government agencies in Queensland.  The demonstration was held at Metricon Stadium, the flagship venue for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.  The MesmerTM  demonstration showcased a non-kinetic mitigation of Unmanned Aerial Systems.

MESMER™ can detect, identify and mitigate either hostile or nuisance drones across a range of national security, defence or commercial applications. The solution utilises patented protocol manipulation technology to take over the drone when it flies into a defined air space. Once the operator has control of the drone the threat can be mitigated in a way that is not dangerous to personnel or infrastructure in the area.

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Join us at the Inaugural Counter-NTT Conference and Exhibition 2016

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test

Counter-NTT is an inaugural conference targeted at those who have an interest in countering the non-traditional and improvised  threats from chemicals, biological hazards, radiation, nuclear, explosives, toxic industrial chemicals and materials, other hazardous materials, and pandemics. The conference is focused at decision makers, operational staff and practitioners alike from Defence, government, academia, defence industry, other government agencies, emergency services and health organisations.


Thu, 10 Nov 2016 at 8:30 AM until Fri, 11 Nov 2016 at 5:00 PM

Location: Adams Auditorium
Contact: Wayne Hargreaves
Email:


Presentations

The keynote presentations for Counter-NTT include:

  • Brigadier John Shanahan, Joint Counter Improvised Threat Task Force
  • JB Burton, Leidos and former Commanding General, Headquarters 20th CBRNE Command (TBC)
  • Colonel Jean Marie Gontier, Paris Fire Brigade
  • Dr Mike Logan, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

The presentations for Counter-NTT include:

  • Chemical and Biological Weapons and efforts to prohibit them, Bob Mathews
  • The Protection against Chemical and Biological Weapons, Rebecca McCallum
  • Recent Developments in Medical Countermeasures,Mick Alderton
  • The Chemical Warfare Agent Laboratory Network, Harry Rose
  • The Australian Biological Laboratory Network, Matthias Dorsch
  • The Analysis of Toxins, Craig Brinkworth
  • Metabolism of Carfentanil, an Ultra-Potent Opioid, in Human Liver Microsomes and Human Hepatocytes by High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry, Michael G. Feasel
  • Increasing the speed, sensitivity and portability of biological agent identification for biosecurity applications using protein-profiling and molecular methods, Dr Michelle Gahan
  • Counter Improvised Threats Research – Impact Dynamics, Professor Paul Hazell
  • Civilian Tactical Medicine – Are we Missing the Big Picture?, Mel Brown
  • Countering the UAS Threat on the Asymmetric Battlefield, Robi Sen
  • True Standoff Detection of Explosives, Chemical Weapons Agents, and Narcotics, Warwick Penrose on behalf of COL (R) Roy C. Waggoner
  • Joint Forensics and Exploitation Enterprise, Dr Lauren Wilson
  • Occupational and Environmental Health Research, Dr Sharyn Gaskin

Register Now

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FPECM to deliver hi tech Defence jobs in Queensland

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Tri-Lateral agreement promises life-saving technology can be upgraded quickly in Australia to counter the growing use of RCIEDs in Terrorist Incidents, whilst securing high-tech defence jobs in Queensland.


EPE, Allen-Vanguard and Surface Technology International enter into an agreement, in principle, to establish Depot Level Repair, Spiral Upgrade and Advanced Manufacturing capabilities at EPE’s Brisbane Facilities to support current and next Generation Force Protection Electronic Counter Measures (FPECM) Systems in Australia..


EPE (Brisbane, Australia) is pleased to announce that we are in the final stages of negotiation with Allen Vanguard (“AV”, Ottawa, Canada), the manufacturer of market-leading FPECM systems and Surface Technologies International (“STI”, Hook, UK) a leading Contract Manufacturer of advanced electronic systems that will lead to the establishment of a full manufacturing, upgrade, and repair capability at our Brisbane facility. This engagement will provide a full repair and overhaul facility as well as future engineering support to the Commonwealth of Australia.

AV has fielded over 16,000 FPECM systems worldwide and currently provides FPECM capability both to the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces and Law Enforcement Agencies. STI operates as the international Manufacturing Partner to AV and has manufactured over 6,500 FPECM systems on their behalf at their Nadcap-accredited facility in Hook, UK. This new agreement will support EPE in delivering an indigenous capability for depot level repairs and spiral upgrades to AV’s existing FPECM Fleet in use by Commonwealth and State Agencies from EPE’s Brisbane-based Maintenance Facility. This support package will reduce the cost, time and logistics burdens for these activities whilst securing high-tech defence jobs in the Greater Brisbane area.
STI will conduct a technology transfer and will invest in training new recruits by providing highly trained personnel to augment EPE’s core of deployable Field Service Representatives (FSRs) while also providing Quality Assurance support. This agreement will provide significant Through-Life Support cost savings to current clients, and ensures that this life saving FPECM technology can be upgraded quickly in Australia to counter the growing use of Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (RCIED) in Terrorist Incidents.
EPE and STI will further leverage this capability to assist with the development and commercialisation of other emerging technologies that can be utilised to defeat the threat of terrorist or criminal use of explosives and CBRN materials.

Warwick Penrose, Managing Director of EPE commented: “This agreement will provide the foundation with which Australian Industry can build a long term platform to ensure a fully sovereign FPECM capability for the Australian and New Zealand governments. With the ability to conduct depot level repairs and to provide spiral upgrades into existing FPECM fleets we can ensure that our clients can keep up with the rapidly evolving and expanding use of RCIEDs as terrorist weapons. We are very pleased to have two world leading technology partners supporting us in this goal and are genuinely excited to be able to leverage this capability into the development and commercialisation of other technologies that we feel can make a genuine and enduring difference to defeating terrorist threats.”

Simon Best, Managing Director of STI commented: “We are delighted to be a party to this agreement so we can help to expand the coverage of the lifesaving AV FPECM product range and assist in developing sovereign capabilities for the Australian market. We are confident that alongside our partners we will be able to deliver and sustain future ground breaking technologies that will make a difference in protecting lives and defeating the terrorist threat.”
Mike Dithurbide, President of Allen-Vanguard commented: “This highlights the importance of the Australian market to AV and our commitment to delivering capability solutions that provide sovereign autonomy and meet the user’s needs in protecting the lives of Commonwealth personnel deployed around the world. Having our long term Manufacturing Partner STI aligning so closely with our major Channel Partner EPE is a natural step and is testament to the progressive approach to capability support that EPE has become synonymous with. Reducing the support burden both in time and distance (and inherently cost) will benefit all involved.”


ABOUT EPE

EPE provides Counter IED and Force Protection solutions and support to Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces, Law Enforcement, and other government agencies. We are former bomb techs and Counter IED specialists with real world operational experience. We understand how Counter IED equipment is used and, more importantly we understand the demands placed on equipment and operators in the current ‘high-threat’ environments in which they may be deployed. We also understand the demands of the training and preparation required for operations. Our aim is to source the very best range of battle-proven Counter IED equipment to help us deliver to our customers, a comprehensive and sustainable capability to meet evolving threats. We deliver equipment, through life support, training and consultancy.


ABOUT ALLEN-VANGUARD

Allen-Vanguard is a leader in providing customized solutions for defeating terrorist and extremist threats, including Radio Controlled IEDs (RCIEDs). Defense Forces, Public Safety & Security agencies around the world trust our world class solutions to provide integrated capabilities to help save lives every day. Users worldwide trust Allen-Vanguard’s products for personal protection and to complete their dangerous missions. This battle-proven equipment is developed in close collaboration with end users and is tested to perform as an integrated system in the harshest conditions.


ABOUT SURFACE TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL
Surface Technology International is an Electronic Solutions Provider, specialising in contract electronics design and manufacturing for world-leading customers in high reliability industries. We are certified to AS 9100, AS9100 Rev C, ISO 9001, TS 16949, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards. Founded in 1989, STI has grown steadily to become a leading player in a number of key industry sectors – especially Aerospace, Defence, Security and Energy – with a customer diversity that ranges across the Automotive, Telecoms, Medical, Satellite and Industrial sectors in both the UK and around the globe. STI offers the complete set of electronics manufacturing solutions – Development, PCB Assembly, Final Assembly, Test and Integration. Based in the UK, our international footprint includes


For further information contact:

EPE, Brisbane Australia.  Warwick Penrose, Director.
Mobile: 0412 506 776.  www.epequip.com

AV, Ottawa, Canada.  Bobby Strawbridge, Director Business Development,
Mobile:  +1 613-608-4585. www.allenvanguard.com

STI, Hook, UK.  Simon Best, Group Managing Director.
Mobile:  +44 7769 638991. www.sti-limited.com

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EPE Supports the Currie-Monash Commemorative Dinner

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Crowds gathered at the Australian War Memorial for the Currie-Monash Commemorative Dinner, celebrating the achievements of Canadian General Currie and Australian General Monash in World War I.

The third annual ‪Currie-Monash Commemorative Dinner brought together defence, government and industry leaders from Australia and Canada. The High Commission of Canada hosted the dinner to remember the battle of Amiens, which commenced on August 8th, 1918. At Amiens, the Allies shock troops were the Canadian Corps and the Australian Corps, fighting side-by-side for the first time under their own commanders, General Arthur Currie and General John Monash. EPE was a sponsor

of the event and it was attended by EPE Managing Director, Warwick Penrose who was accompanied by Mike Dithurbide, President of Canadian company Allen Vanguard Corporation.

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EPE at LAND FORCES 2016 6 – 8 September, Adelaide

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LAND FORCES 2016 is Australia’s premier land defence exhibition and a leading land defence forum for Australia, Asia and the Indo-Pacific region.
Visit us at Land Forces 2016 hosted in Adelaide from the 6th to the 7th of September. Booth Number: Hall 2 2Q29

The EPE Exhibit will feature the latest technologies from world leading suppliers in:

  • All Hazards Detection including Chem, Bio, Rad, Explosive, Narcotic and Stand Off Detection
  • All Hazards Management and Decontamination
  • Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems including Counter Drone technology
  • Unmanned Land Systems
  • Tactical Systems
  • Electronic Counter Measures
  • EOD and Search

To Learn More About Land Forces 2016 Click Here.

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Department 13, Australian Counter UAS Solution

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[box type=”download”]Read Full Article Here[/box]

The emergence of small, lightweight, low cost Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) offers many applications in the theatre of conflict, but their ubiquitous nature and ease of use make UAS as much a threat as they are an asset to the Defence Force. The use of UAS by conventional, non state and irregular forces has added another dimension of threat on the asymmetric battlefield, enabling adversaries to observe the disposition and capabilities of the ADF. The ADF needs a capability to neutralise this potential threat and inhibit the situational awareness of enemies and antagonists.

This is equally applicable in the commercial sectors, specifically the oil and gas sector where the use of drones to assist with exploration and surveying is a great asset.  However, they also pose a threat as a tool to be used against energy infrastructure.

This article published in Oil and Gas Australia discusses the Mesmer technology which has been developed by department 13 as a response to this threat.  Mesmer can integrate with a variety of sensors to detect, identify, track and mitigate commercial drones.  Department 13 is partnered with EPE to deliver this innovative technology to the Australian market.

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Queensland Police Detonated a Bomb in Peregian Beach

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POLICE have recently charged a man following an incident in Coolum that occurred April the 20th.

Around 10.45pm, a man went to a Centenary Height Road address where it is alleged he threatened a woman with a firearm before fleeing the scene.

Specialist police have attended the scene and after three people were removed from a residence, it will be further alleged that a number of suspicious items were found in a vehicle and inside a residence.

A man was taken into custody without incident earlier this morning, and police detonated a device at the property.

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‘Suspicious device’ sparks emergency at Arundel

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On March 11th, an emergency situation at Arundel was scaled back after police bomb squad members (wearing EOD 9 Bomb Suit on picture 1) manually deactivated a home made explosive.  A truck driver was emptying a load from his vehicle, which was nor in his possession the past few days, when he found the suspicious device about 10 am. He alerted authorities, sparking a police response under the Public Safety Preservation Act. Several businesses were evacuated and a large area was cordoned off. The device was not detonated, but police confirmed if it had gone off it would have caused significant damage. It is believed a gun and ammunition were also found near the explosive device.

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Congratulations to recipient of the ASEME On-the-job Trainee of the Year for 2015

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ASEME Trainee

EPE is a proud supporter of the ALTC On the Job Training Program.  We congratulate one of our previous apprentices , CFN Daniel Young who has been awarded the ASEME On-the-job Trainee of the Year for 2015, recognising his efforts throughout his On the Job Training.   This is a very prestigious award and EPE is grateful to have been involved in his corporate apprenticeship placements.

CFN Young was particularly notable and made a significant impact during his time with us for both his skills, drive and enthusiasm.  In particular his support to some of our rapid prototyping activities and his insight to 3D modelling has been excellent.  It would be fair to say that EPE has learned and gained as much from Daniel as he hopefully learned and gained from us.  The calibre of Army apprentices placed at EPE over the past year has been excellent and we are grateful for the opportunity to support the program. EPE has found the Program with ASEME Brisbane offers a mutually beneficial experience by providing training to the next generation of Technician Electronic Systems and efficiency and innovative benefits to the company.

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EPE Christmas Party 2015, Restaurant Two, Brisbane

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EPE Celebrated its Christmas party on November the 11th . It has been an amazing year full of success and opportunities, thank you team for your hard work and dedication. Our best wishes for a great Christmas and New Year full of happiness and satisfactions, hoping you have a great catch up with family and friends. See you next year, refreshed and ready  to accomplish even more.

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EPE showcase, Army Innovation Day 2015 in Canberra

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On October 20th, EPE participated to Army Innovation Day hosted by RPDE in Canberra. Over the day, RPDE aimed to showcase leading-edge capabilities from industry to key Army stakeholders in order to inform Army’s modernization and capability development. We have been selected to present two of our following products,

  • Zephir BioHarness, an advanced Physiological Monitoring Module that incorporates class one BlueTooth technology, has a smaller form factor, and provides heart rate, breathing rate, and 3-axis accelerometery.
  • Scimitar Tactical Live, a real time Command and Control (C2) System which provides commanders on the ground better situational awareness. It is a wireless LOS/NLOS information collection and fusion tool as well as providing mission and training analysis, and intelligence gathering. EPE’s own Mission and Training Analysis capability has been captured and fused the data feeds live and provided copies for future review.

Over the open view session, We also had the opportunity to exhibit the Cobham ICE 7701,  an innovative RF interference cancellation technology offering a breakthrough in the level of sensitivity restoration which can be achieved in on-board communications systems in a jamming environment.

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Man Out Of The Danger Zone Demo Day Hosted By EPE

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On October 1st, EPE hosted representatives from RPDE, DFAT, Defence, police, AG’s   in Canberra, the “Man out of the Danger Zone” capability demonstration day.
EPE brought together a team of international subject matter experts to showcase the latest Unmanned Systems (UAS/UGV) but also to demonstrate how they can be applied for All Hazards (CBRNE / TIC/TIM /Narcotic) detection and enhance ISR.

 

On the day we showcased the following technologies:

Instant Eye UAS: InstantEye is a high-performance, low-cost aerial system that can be hand launched/recovered by a single person in any weather. The vehicle weighs less than 500g and can go from a stowed configuration to airborne in under 30 seconds. Our presentation showed how this capability can be employed to enhance Tactical ISR, as well as Chemical / Radiological / Gunshot detection and Harris Radio retrains.

CBRN Talon: This fast and mobile robot capable of climbing stairs, negotiating rock piles, and traveling through water, sand and snow can also be used to detect, excavate then neutralise CBRNE threats. In Canberra, We presented the capability of our robot integrated with a full suite of CBRN Sensors (and Heavy Lift Arm)

Portable Raman Improvised Explosives Detector (PRIED): We also < demonstrated how the PRIED, an advanced mobile chemical detection system, can be employed to provide a multi spectrum Stand Off detection.

Scimitar Tactical: SCIMITAR is a real time Command and Control (C2) System which provides commanders on the ground better situational awareness. It is a wireless LOS/NLOS information collection and fusion tool as well as providing mission and training analysis, and intelligence gathering. EPE’s own Mission and Training Analysis capability has been captured and fused the data feeds live and provided copies for future review.

 

Our International Guest Speakers recognised as industry leaders in their fields, provided a brief on their respective capabilities and how they are currently being employed to support Coalition forces currently deployed.

EPE would like to sincerely thank our Guest speakers for sharing their priceless experience and expertise about all hazard detection.

  • Chuck Waggoner (Colonel Rtd): Director Deployments, Alakai Defence Systems, former Commander Task Force Paladin
  • Nathan Desmeule: Director BD, Land Systems, QinetiQ North America (QNA)
  • Tom Schmit: Senior Scientist, UAS Sensor fusion, PSI Corp

 

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ADF support NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Kabul

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An Afghan National Defense and Security Forces student in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) suit uses a metal detector during an explosive ordnance test at the EOD School at the Central Training Centre in Kabul, Afghanistan.

There are three Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) Advisers embedded within Headquarters Resolute Support providing specialist, logistical and training support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

The three advisers are part of the 400 Australian Defence Force personnel deployed across Afghanistan in a variety of roles as part of Operation Highroad, supporting the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

Resolute Support is focused on training, advising and assisting the Afghan National Security Forces and Afghan security institutions at the operational, institutional and ministerial levels.

Byline CPL David Cotton
BylineTitle 1JPAU
Copyright String © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence

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Australian Navy Clearance Divers surveillance exercise

Australian Navy Clearance Divers

Not necessarily our kit… but really cool photos nonetheless!

Royal Australian Navy Clearance Divers emerge from the waters of Pittwater whilst conducting a surveillance exercise at Palm Beach in Sydney. Clearance Divers are the Australian Defence Forces’ specialist divers. Clearance Diver tasks include specialist diving missions to depths of 54 metres, surface and underwater demolitions, and the rendering safe and disposal of conventional explosive ordnance and improvised explosive devices.

Byline ABIS Kayla Hayes
BylineTitle Navy Imagery Unit – East
Copyright String © Commonwealth of Australia

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Vic Pol Bomb Squad detonate IEDs at home of teenager

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BBC News 9 May 2015
Australian police have arrested a 17-year-old on terror charges in a Melbourne suburb and say they have halted a plot to detonate three homemade bombs in the city.

A house was raided in the northern suburb of Greenvale on Friday.

Five men were detained last month, also in Melbourne, for allegedly planning an attack on an Anzac Day ceremony.

Last September saw the country’s biggest counter-terrorism operation, with 15 people arrested.

The arrested youth has not been named, but is due to appear in court on Monday.

The charges include “preparation for a terrorist act” and possessing “things connected with a terrorist act”.

Police detonated three devices found during Friday’s raid in Greenvale.

Heavily armed officers made the raid after a tip-off to a security hotline.

“There is evidence of a bomb plot that was in a reasonably advanced state of preparation,” said Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Saturday.

Police said they were unable to confirm what the target for the alleged attack was.

“But let me tell you, something was going to happen,” Australian Federal Police (AFP) Deputy Commissioner Mike Phelan told a press conference in Melbourne.

“As a result of Victoria police and AFP interception yesterday, some Victorians are going to be alive,” he added.

Last month, the authorities in Melbourne said they had uncovered a plot to behead a police officer.

Two teenagers were charged with conspiring to plan a terrorist attack
Police discovered a plot “in a reasonably advanced state of preparation,” s

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QPOL EORT on the job with TAC6 & Digital Vanguard

TAC6 on task in Valley

7:41pm May 14, 2015
Digital Vanguard in Valley
For more than four hours, the bomb-squad and dozens of police officers shut down streets across Brisbane, after a suspicious package was discovered underneath a car.

Dozens of police officers and a detection robot were called to Arthur Street at 7.40 am.

Unsure what they were dealing with, investigators took no risks and shut down the entire surrounding block in Fortitude Valley.

“They just turned up out the front and stopped letting cars through,” witness Carl said.

Investigators used radar technology to determine what was inside the suspicious plastic case.

Police eventually uncovered what they described as a GPS tracking device.

“It is harmless and will be the subject of further examination by our scientific scenes of crime and local detectives,” Acting Inspector Gregeory Veivers said.

The object was discovered under a Black BMW and its driver Tom Rook, a well known Fortitude Valley property developer, is now covered in finger print dust.

It is understood he discovered a less sophisticated device near his car yesterday, claiming a disgruntled ex-girlfriend could be behind the placement of the tracker.

Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/05/14/19/41/brisbane-bomb-hoax-may-have-been-caused-by-disgruntled-exgirlfriend#D17vbFEoM0TYfD1i.99

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EPE Supports G20 with specialist search capability

2014 G20 Contraband Detectors

2014 G20 Contraband Detectors

Australian Army 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit has released photos of the Australian Army in support at G20. Australian Army soldier Sapper Sebastian MacCormac, from the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment (2CER), uses a contraband detection device during a vehicle search at a Suncorp Stadium vehicle checkpoint.

Members of the Brisbane-based 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment and the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment along with a team from Amberley-based No. 2 Security Force Squadron have worked alongside Queensland Police Service personnel as they provide a search capability to maintain security throughout the G20 Summit in November 2014. The ADF personnel are assisting police at checkpoints around Brisbane where vehicles are checked using specialised search equipment to ensure the safety of delegates and members of the public attending the various G20 events.

The role of Defence in the G20 security arrangements relates to the provision of niche security capabilities in support of major events consistent with its obligations under the Australian Government Crisis Management Framework. The Australian Government has deployed appropriate ADF assets available to support the G20 taskforce and civilian police to provide a secure environment for the conduct of G20 events, including the Leaders Summit held in Brisbane on 15 and 16 November.

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EPE hosts Ken Pirie, former Deputy Director CTTC

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EPE is currently hosting Ken Pirie in Australia to collaborate on ADF Projects Land 3025 and Land 2110. EPE’s long relationship with Ken started in 1998 when EPE Director, Warwick Penrose participated in Live Agent Training at DRDC Canada as part of the ADF’s preparations for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.  Since then, EPE and Ken have formed a positive working relationship that encourages and sustains the exchange of technical and operational information, ideas and experiences specific to the mitigation and management of terrorist driven CBRN threats.

Ken Pirie retired from Canadian federal government service in 2012 as the Head/Demilitarization Operations and International Training Programmes at the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Suffield, Alberta.

He specialized in explosive engineering application, blast physics, chemical and conventional ordnance disposal, demilitarization project management specific to the recovery, process and destruction of abandoned chemical weapons and the design, implementation and management (use) of specialized prototype equipment and systems employed in the destruction of chemical filled ordnance.

In 2006 Ken was acknowledged by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as a “Qualified Expert” in his field and as such, participated in OPCW operations specific to “Investigations of Alleged Use” of chemical weapons by opposing states parties.  As Deputy Director, Counter Terrorism Technology Centre, Ken directed global First Responder Training Programs (FRTP); he produced the curriculum and directed national live agent training operations for the Department of National Defence, militaries of foreign governments, other government agencies (foreign and domestic) as well as Canadian and International first response communities.

 

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1st Joint Public Affairs Unit has released photos from G20.

2014 G20 Non Linear Junction Detector

2014 G20 Non Linear Junction Detector
Photos released by Australian Army 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit show Search equipment supplied by EPE for G20.

Australian Army engineer Sapper Steve McMillan, from the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, uses a Non-Linear Junction Detector to check storage boxes at the Brisbane Convention Centre in preparation for the G20 Leaders Summit. Australian Army engineers have conducted thorough searches of venues around the Brisbane CBD in support of the Queensland Police Service as the city gears up to host the G20 Leaders Summit over 15 and 16 November 2014.

The soldiers are assisting police at various locations around Brisbane using specialised search equipment to ensure the safety of delegates and members of the public attending the various G20 events. The role of Defence in the G20 security arrangements relates to the provision of niche capabilities in support of major events consistent with its obligations under the Australian Government Crisis Management Framework. The Australian Government has deployed appropriate ADF assets available to support the G20 taskforce and civilian police to provide a secure environment for the conduct of G20 events.

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‘Explosive substance’ sparks lockdown in Brisbane

2014 08 18 Revision Helmet Explosive at the Gap

Members of the police bomb squad dispose of the volatile chemical picric acid with a controlled explosion in a park at The Gap.

A volatile chemical taken to a suburban Brisbane police station could have detonated in transit, officers have warned.

Regional duty officer for the Brisbane Region Inspector Steve Flori said an elderly resident of The Gap in Brisbane’s northwest discovered the substance at a home after her ex-husband – a former chemist – was admitted to hospital. The sensitive chemical could be activated by friction and movement and was used as an explosive in World War I.

“That wasn’t its current application in relation to this couple at The Gap,” Insp Flori said. “But in its current state that we had it, it was highly explosive and the safest option for us was to dispose of that substance via a controlled explosion.”

Members of the bomb squad detonated the chemical in a park next to The Gap police station.
Information and photo from The Courier Mail August 18 2014.

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EORT respond to suspicious device at train station

2014 08 12 Indooroopilly Train Station suspect device
Qld Police Bomb Squad member wearing an EOD9 suit at the incident
Qld Police Bomb Squad member wearing an EOD9 suit at the incident

A suspicious device that sparked a bomb scare at Indooroopilly train station has turned out to be a school student’s science project. The Queensland Police Explosive Ordnance Response Team attended the scene. Police say the high school student left their science project at the station by mistake. The device brimming with wires was so suspicious that the bomb squad was initially convinced it could be dangerous.