Organisations face unique challenges when attempting to deliver equipment into the Australian marketplace. These challenges are often amplified, from both User and Organisation perspective by increasing product complexity, compliance requirements, and high-quality end user expectations of new products. The increasing end user expectations on areas of performance, reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety have forced a paradigm shift in test and evaluation strategy, from simple quality control to overall product integrity.
However, there has been a lack of digital and physical infrastructure purpose built for these evolving requirements. EPEs aim is to provide test and evaluation facilities along with high-end specialist training packages that can be accessed by organisations, assisting in optimising equipment delivery, and increasing likelihood of achieving end user expectations.
Key Test Range Capabilities
Six core capabilities are offered by MILTECS:
- 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 semi-structured environments
The only private Land Test and Evaluation facility in Australia for verification and validation
Spanning 14 acres across three locations in south-east Queensland, the facilities are located at CSIRO Pullenvale; at Helidon; and with separate lab facilities at EPE HQ at Spring Hill (adjacent to the Brisbane CBD).
MILTECS Pullenvale includes access to facilities of CSIRO’s Robotics Innovation Centre, which includes the largest motion capture system in the southern hemisphere. MILTECS environmental features include: different surfaces and terrain landforms, vegetation, tunnels, urban analogs, water obstacles, and structured and semi-structured environments.
Unique Regional Hub
Our aim is to provide a regional hub for high-end specialist training, test and evaluation, verification and validation, that can be accessed by industry and government organisations to optimise domestic skills enhancement and capacity building throughout the region. The facility has been designed to cater for the unique training requirements of Defence, Law Enforcement, First Responders and Border Force. The training facilities can also be used by neighbouring nations as a venue for training to develop their capabilities relating to national security in the current environment.
- Equipment capability and operator proficiency evaluation – ground test methods, aerial test methods, motion capture system, evaluate against national standardised baseline.
- EPE Engineers can provide assistance with technology development, test design, integration and rapid prototyping (machining and 3d printing).
- All exercise planning and preparation, including device manufacture and placement, can be carried out by EPE relieving the administrative burden on users
- Emergency Response Service and coordination
- Test and Evaluation / Validation and Verification support
- Range surveillance safety services
- A scalable level of training support, up to complete exercises and scenarios
- The ability to request specific custom training requirements, locations, and scenarios to match the required outcomes of your training plans
- Variety in training due to the locations of EPE training sites being outside the usual military or police facilities, offering participants unique and unfamiliar scenarios to realistically test their ability
Supports Defence Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities (SICPs)
MILTECS has been purpose built by EPE, with support from the Department of Defence Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority (SICP) fund, leveraging EPE’s strategic partnership with CSIRO, RTI and EPE’s private funding.
The facility directly contributes to four of Defence’s SICPs:
- 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
Terrain Park and Performance Circuit
Co-located at CSIRO Pullenvale, the MILTECS Terrain Park and performance circuit are the only privately-owned purpose-built robotics testing facilities in Australia that allow unmanned and autonomous platforms to be tested over the full challenging spectrum of terrains that may be encountered in service.
Platform performance can be fully demonstrated over the varied terrain and obstacles and limitations explored to inform the customer development process and underpin procurement and deployment decisions. It provides an ecosystem of facilities to enable customers to carry out a wide range of activities in a controlled and secure environment.
Whatever the objective – robot performance, reach, mobility, manoeuvrability, dexterity; robot and drone operator skills – there are a range of solutions, including extensive support services, to assist in achieving the levels of quality required for capability development and training programmes.
Evaluate capability and operator proficiency
MILTECS is the only facility in the southern hemisphere for evaluation of platform capability and operator proficiency against National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards. It caters for unmanned and autonomous ground and aerial systems, test and evaluation of CBRNE sensors and effectors, and training and assurance activities. Located within the 600-square-metre purpose-built CSIRO Robotic Innovation Centre (RIC), the modular NIST Course provides the ability to evaluate robotic platforms against key specified metrics. This capability is one of just a few in the world and focuses on ground test methods, aerial test methods and Non Line of Sight (NLOS) test methods. Its purpose is to evaluate both platform capability and operator proficiency against a national standardised baseline. The test trials include 10 – 30 repetitions to achieve statistical significance defined as 80% reliability with 80% confidence.
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
Turnkey operational training and proving ground
Spread over 10 acres and modular in design, allowing custom configuration for your specific training and proving requirements, MILTECS Helidon delivers a turnkey operational training and proving ground. The facility enables:
- A conformance testing area for EOD/CMD 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 unmanned ground and aerial platforms.
- Improved area to develop enhanced EH render safe procedure/ Counter Measures employment techniques.
- Training area for Dismounted EOD, unmanned ground and aerial systems, and specialist techniques.
The Laboratory facility located in EPE HQ Spring Hill provides a lab where Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) can be tested and developed for operations with contaminated items. This could range from the collection processes for chemical and biological samples to the investigation of a contaminated item to recover digital evidence.
The laboratory provides a clean, off site, environment where there is no potential for interference with routine operations or creating a contamination issue at the work location. With the digital capabilities in the laboratory this makes it a perfect remote training environment where clients can be taught the processes needed for the operation of equipment.
The data recording system within the laboratory has the ability to capture all of the operations undertaken during the examination of the materials for further review or as part of the validation process for a specific task.
The laboratory has the equipment needed for the recovery of data from a range of electronic devices and media. This can be undertaken with “clean” items or it can be undertaken in the glovebox where the exhibits are considered to be “dirty”.