Defence seeks a next-generation Australian Army that is prepared for both current and future threats through a combination of concepts, organisation, and technology offsets.
That is, an Army that is a fully integrated component of the joint force, capable of fighting and winning through its employment of networks, systems and sensors across all domains. In delivering the next-gen Army, Defence is particularly interested in innovative solutions relating to the following capability themes:
1. Robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) in the combat team: As a result of major technological change in recent years, the soldier is now exposed to more information and intelligence than ever before. While technology positively assists in more informed decision making, it may also lead to information overload, as the soldier is expected to process, filter and assess large volumes of competing information from a range of data sources and technologies. This can lead to decision paralysis or sub-optimal decision making.
Armoured vehicles and dismounted combatants need to rapidly transfer and present information in a usable, cognitively manageable way to reduce risk of information overload, particularly when prosecuting fleeting targets. Defence is also seeking innovative ideas to reduce human involvement in the combat team’s engagement and decision cycle using robotics and autonomous systems.
Defence is particularly interested in technologies that answer the following questions:
- What systems can quickly analyse threat information to alert, communicate, and/or suggest courses of actions to dismounted soldiers or vehicles (e.g. take cover, shoot at, move to, avoid) in a timely manner through appropriate sensory inputs?
- What systems or methods can be used to ensure effective communication while also reducing the sensory burden on soldier (e.g. tactile cues)?
- What new ways exist to enable the computer processing power held within heavy armoured vehicles to be utilised remotely by dismounts to reduce their load carriage requirements?
2. Disruptive effects in signature management: A troop’s location can be identified through locating signatures from its people, vehicles and technology (such as radios, command and control systems, etc), whether stationary or on the move.
To address this, Defence is seeking disruptive technologies that obfuscate signatures or create uncertainty in attempts to geo-locate systems. This includes technologies that can change, manage, hide or deceive the signature of an individual, group of people, weapons or vehicles, including decoys.
Defence is interested in managing signatures within the acoustic, radio, electro-optic, and infra-red bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, and particularly interested in technologies that answer the following question:
- What disruptive technologies exist to obfuscate signatures and/or create uncertainty in enemies’ attempts to geo-locate?
Army Innovation Day 2018 (AID18):
AID18 will be held on Thursday, 25 October 2018 at the Adams Auditorium, at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. The purpose of AID18 is for selected respondents to display and pitch their proposed innovations to assessors, capability managers and Defence Innovation Hub personnel.
AID18 is open to Defence personnel, Defence contractors (and any invited guests) and the media. Invitations will be extended to the Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, and the Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne.
Service chiefs, Defence group heads, senior ADF officers responsible for capability development and senior officers at the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Border Force and Home Affairs may also attend.
Submissions close 3pm on Wednesday, 22 August 2018. More information, including eligibility and assessment criteria and processes, is available here.