A Comprehensive Solution for Defence, Industry, and Research organisations
EPE’s purpose-built ranges and labs in Brisbane support training and the development, testing, proving, and assurance of robotic platforms, sensors, and effectors. With a variety of representative environments and specialised technical staff all located within 100kms of Brisbane, MILTECS is accessible and ready to help organisations achieve their goals and support the operationalisation of new capabilities for Australia and allies.
Supporting Defence Sovereign Industry Capability Priorities
MILTECS supports Australian industry and research organisations to develop and deliver novel capabilities and skills that are critical to Defence which require expensive, dedicated infrastructure and representative real-world environments.
- Over 14 hectares on 3 sites located within 100km of Brisbane Airport, close to RAAF Amberley and Gallipoli Barracks
- Secure access to licensed testing facilities and ranges for EOD tools, explosives and CBRN equipment
- Adjacent to specialist technical industry SMEs, five universities, CSIRO and major defence primes
- NIST Response Robotics Ground Test Methods facility for training and assessment of unmanned systems and operators
- Customisable facilities for training groups in scenarios and terrain to complement dedicated government sites
- Optimised for Defence, Law Enforcement, First Responders and Border Force
- Outside the usual military or police facilities, offering participants unique and unfamiliar scenarios to realistically test their ability
- Equipment capability and operator proficiency evaluation | Ground test methods, aerial test methods, motion capture system, evaluate against national standardised baseline
- Engineering Services | EPE Engineers provide assistance with technology development, test design, integration and rapid prototyping (machining and 3d printing)
- Exercise Planning | All exercise planning and preparation, including device manufacture and placement, relieves the administrative burden on users
- Safety Management | Emergency response coordination, range surveillance safety services and Trials Safety Case creation and lodgment
- T&E | Test and Evaluation / Validation and Verification support
- Customised Specialist Training | Scalable training support, including turnkey scenario aligned to desired outcomes for participants to realistically test their abilities
Located in close proximity to South-East Queensland Defence & Emergency establishments, Defence Industry Prime hubs, airports, accommodation and logistic nodes
MILTECS offers six core capabilities:
- Robotic capability and operator proficiency in various terrain
- Testing, evaluation and training for mounted and dismounted search
- Threat mitigation and training
- Sensor testing, assurance and integration
- Sensor library development
- Technology development in representative structured and semi-structured environments
Supports Defence Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities (SICPs)
MILTECS was built by EPE with a combination of private EPE funding and support from the Department of Defence’s Sovereign Industry Capability Priorities (SICP) fund, and partnerships with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Rocket Test Industries (RTI).
It supports four of Defence’s identified Priorities:
- Robotics, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence
- Test, evaluation, certification and systems assurance
- Land combat vehicle and technology upgrade
- Combat clothing survivability and signature reduction technologies
Robotics and Autonomy
Located at the CSIRO Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT), at Pullenvale, just twenty minutes’ drive from the Brisbane CBD, Pullenvale purpose built facilities consist of Uncrewed Ground and Aerial Vehicle Training, Test and Evaluation infrastructure. The site provides environments for evaluating real world situations including structured, semi-structured, and unstructured environments with a range of terrain features including steep inclines, gentle slopes and long grass, ideal for testing autonomous systems.
Uncrewed Systems Terrain Park and NIST Test comprises:
- Sub-Terranean Tunnel System
- Manipulation Area (specific heights up to 3 metres)
- Vehicle Manipulation Area (bus, SUV, car)
- Skill Enhancement Course
- Gap Crossing Area (up to 1.6 metre gaps)
- Terrain Area
- Water Fording Area (up to 600 mm depth)
- Train Track Crossing Area
- Traversability Area
- Culvert/Pipe Obstacle Area
- NIST Modular Range of Obstacles
- Data61 Motion Capture Device
What is NIST?
National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) provides a comprehensive suite of international standardised testing methods for uncrewed systems and EOD operators, informing the design of different mission-specific proving grounds within MILTECS. The NIST apparatus are used to quantify platform capability and operator proficiency. They provide information on key metrics such as manoeuvrability, mobility, dexterity, visual acuity, sensing, endurance, radio communication (LOS & NLOS), durability, reliability, logistics and safety for remotely operated ground vehicles, aquatic vehicles and small uncrewed aerial systems.
In the absence of designated Australian or global standards for testing and protocols that are associated with UGVs and UAVs, EPE elected to design and build its MILTECS testing and evaluation facility in Brisbane to NIST testing standards through a partnership with the CSIRO and Data61.
The facility is comprised of three different proving grounds to test a range of different capabilities, including access to the CSIRO Robot Innovation Centre, which focuses on testing machine learning in complex indoor and outdoor environments. Being able to test this technology gives momentum to EPE’s efforts to shift away from remote-controlled arrangements and provide
machines with greater autonomy.
Ground Test Methods (GTM):
The GTM are designed to be modular and rapidly deployed in varying configurations. EPE has further developed the modularity to enable apparatuses to be employed in several lanes and thus extend the testing suite. The apparatus is designed to evaluate key metrics which indicate proficiency in skills/tasks. In addition to these base evaluations, the test methods can be combined and also include scenario specific tasks (e.g. EOD task etc.)
Aerial Test Methods (ATM):
The Aerial Test Methods are facilitated by positioning visual acuity apparatuses at specific increments, and then performing a series of manoeuvring paths around the apparatuses. This suite of ATM’s is primarily intended for vertical take-off and landing systems with an onboard camera and remote pilot display. Some test methods are also applicable to fixed wing systems with minor modification to lane dimensions.
Data61 Motion Capture System
A 24 camera Qualisys system currently on a 8m x 8m frame that can be moved over different test terrains to provide real-time position of multiple points. In this configuration it can provide millimetre precision over the entire area.
Self Contained Search Facility
Located in CSIRO at Pullenvale, the five search lanes filled with metal, free soils provide the ability to bury ??? or other items in order to test the capabilities of technologies to detect targets in various ground conditions and at various burial depths.
Mounted Search/CIED Detection Lane
Constructed of decomposed granite, this 40m long x 5m wide lane is purpose-designed to conduct mounted Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) testing. It is well-graded and free from contamination.
Dismounted Search/CIED Detection Lanes
The lanes are capable of equipment/personnel test and evaluation or available to be utilised for training. These four lanes are 15m long x 3m wide and constructed of the following certified soil types:
- Crushed Sandstone
- Fine beach sand merging to graded pebbles
- Native Soil
The lanes are supported by:
- 3 Designated Search Areas
- Demonstration / Viewing Area
- Outdoor classroom
- Specialist Storage Area.
- EOD lanes
- Deployable shelters
- Storage area
With access to over 7 hectares and modular in design, allowing custom configuration for your specific training and proving requirements, MILTECS Helidon delivers a turnkey operational training and proving ground. Approximately one and a half hour’s drive from the Brisbane CBD or fifteen minutes from Toowoomba, this facility has been designed to test and validate Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) disruptors and Conventional Munitions Disposal (CMD) tools. This Proving Centre is also available to assist in the development of enhanced Render Safe Procedures (RSP).
- Medium Firing Bays
- Large Firing Bay
- Omni Directional Firing Pad
- Explosives Preparation Shed
- Firing and Viewing Point
The facility provides:
- A conformance testing area for EOD/CMD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal / Conventional Munitions Disposal) tools and ammunition types to validate OEM Test Data which includes EOD, CIED & CMD test lanes for Render Safe Tools, including data capture of testing conducted
- Proving & Conformance Testing area to ensure EOD & CMD tools are correctly integrated onto Dismounted EOD and uncrewed ground and aerial platforms
- Improved area to develop enhanced EH (Explosive Hazards) render safe procedure
- Counter Measures employment techniques
- Training area for Dismounted EOD, uncrewed ground and aerial systems, and specialist techniques
- Opportunity to conduct evidence-based assurance that capabilities are safe to operate, can be operated safely, and combat effective (fit for purpose)
- Ability to test and confirm to the required levels of integration, interoperability and compatibility for Commonwealth and Coalition employment
- Ability to conduct AT&E and OT&E (Acceptance Test & Evaluation and Operational Test & Evaluation) needs, as well as an opportunity to prove IOC and FOC (Interim and Full Operational Capability) thresholds
Located at EPE HQ Springhill, this laboratory space provides a clean, off site, environment.
The laboratory facilitates:
- Verification & validation of CBRN equipment
- Custom Gas generation for challenging specific detector thresholds or protection standards on PPE
- Testing and development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for contaminated items
- Operator & technician training; including digital capabilities allowing remote instruction and remote observation of processes
- Data recording system to capture operations for further review or validation
- Training for the analysis of ‘dirty’ exhibits in large format custom glovebox
- Recovery of data from electronic devices and media