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Defence develops new drone detection system

Windtalker drone sensor detection system
Air Warfare Centre science and technology adviser Ant Perry, left, and Air Warfare Engineering Squadron avionics technician Corporal Stanislaw Filipek inspect the Windtalker drone detection system at DSTG Edinburgh. Photo: Leading Aircraftman Sam Price

The RAAF and DSTG have jointly developed new technology built to monitor airspace, and detect and respond to UAV threats.

The RAAF and DSTG have jointly developed new technology built to monitor airspace, and detect and respond to UAV threats.

The Royal Australian Air Force’s Air Warfare Centre (AWC) and the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) have announced the development of a new drone detection system, Windtalker.

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The technology is designed to track uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) activity and leverage stimulated algorithms for detection, recognition and decision-making.

Ant Perry, who was recently appointed as an adviser to the AWC, noted the importance of the new technology, given risks associated with the misuse of UAVs.

“It is a great privilege to take on the role here at the Air Warfare Centre and be able to contribute to some really worthwhile projects,” Perry said.

“Unmanned aerial system misuse can cause safety issues and security concerns for the Australian Defence Force and the Windtalker drone sensor detection system provides users a common operating picture of the airspace.”

The Windtalker incorporates the additional functionality of an ADS-B receive, enabling users to track the flight path of ADS-B-equipped aircraft within range of the sensor.

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“The Windtalker system is evidence of the win-win DSTG and RAAF partnership,” Perry added.

The joint development of the system follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between DSTG and the AWC in late 2019.

DSTG leader, electronic fabrication Gordon Sherlock reflected on the success of the ongoing relationship between the organisations.

“The staff at the Air Warfare Centre are renowned for their professionalism, skills, knowledge and technical ability,” he said.

“I have seen first-hand how the AWC avionics technicians have brought transferrable skills to the team and how the Air Force’s robust training continuum complements the wide array of tasks required to be performed at DSTG.”

Corporal Stan Filipek, who helps facilitate the manufacture of technical componentry and assembly of electronic components, added: “It has been exciting to be a part of the partnership between the two agencies.

“I like to think of the Windtalker project as a representation of the fruits of our labour.”

The AWC, which is a division of the Air Command, aims to establish modern and fully integrated combat capability.

The AWC’s workforce includes Air Force, Army, Navy, Australian Public Service and Defence industry personnel.

[Related: Defence funds new electronic warfare initiative]

Defence develops new drone detection system
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