SME Support for Maritime Robotic Technology in Defence
Darren Burrowes, Chief Technology Officer at BlueZone will speak at the Australian Defence Engineering Conference in Melbourne in November 2014 on the contribution of Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) manufacturing and engineering to Australia’s defence capability.
New robotic technologies of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASV) enable new “game-changing” capabilities in the harsh conditions of the deep-ocean and remote seas. The Royal Australian Navy has operated ROVs since the 1990s and now operates several types of robotic vehicles for applications ranging from minewarfare to maritime ranges. UVS and ATSA Defence Services have provided support for these vehicle types since 2000. UVS and ATSA have developed a significant engineering capability to support the leading-edge engineering technologies embodied in marine robotic technology. UVS manufactures components for RAN systems locally and exports them globally to naval customers operating in the world’s oceans.
“The support provided byBlueZone’s embodies companies UVS and ATSA and lessons learned in SME support for a highly-engineered strategic capability has provided a “win-win” for Defence in Australia”, said Darren Burrowes, “UVS and ATSA have been able to proactively address local support issues for Navy and provide value-for money support and engineering. At the same a stable business has matured providing more than thirty high-tech jobs in offices in Newcastle, Melbourne and Perth”. UVS was founded in 1973 and is active in several market areas including Offshore Oil & Gas, Oceanographic research and Hydrographic survey. ATSA is the specialist defence service arm of UVS and was a start-up as a result of the Minehunter Coastal program and supports over $50m of equipment operated by the RAN minewarfare force.