Brisbane company EPE has completed the first phase of its 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 designed specifically around proving they could be integrated to achieve a remote standoff detection capability.
EPE said 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 success experienced so far in this project will allow the company to develop more innovative capabilities for Defence and open up doors for export opportunities.
"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," Penrose said.
"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."
EPE, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence (CBRND) and counter-IED solutions provider, was also recently awarded a second Defence Innovation Hub contract; a $1 million contract that will look at developing a portable detection system for the Navy to sense distant explosives, chemical warfare agents, gasses and narcotics.
EPE employs 20 people and is headquartered in Brisbane with offices in Canberra, Albury-Wodonga and New Zealand.