Minister for Defence, the Hon. Melissa Price MP, announced last Friday $14.6 million worth of new Defence Innovation Hub contracts. DEWC Systems was the only South Australian based company awarded a DIH contract in this round.
According to the Defence media released, DEWC Systems is expected to develop a sovereign, space-based tactical sensor system which, when successful will enhance ADF’s space capability.
DEWC Systems CEO Ian Spencer said that the DIH contract will do just that. It will fund Phase Two of the Miniaturised Orbital Electronic Sensor System (MOESS) to provide the ADF with a unique space-based EW capability that will ensure Australia maintains the technological superiority in our region. With the contract, DEWC Systems will finally be able to move on from the research phase (Phase One) to the design and development of assembled systems to demonstrate the technology.
MOESS Phase One was one of the projects funded by the Defence Innovation Partnerships in 2018, where DEWC Systems received $150,000 to develop a proof-of-concept of the MOESS. Phase One was a collaboration with South Australia’s top universities and the DST Group led by DEWC. Phase Two will be developed by the DEWC Systems team.
The MOESS project is a dynamically reprogrammable, multipurpose Electromagnetic sensor system integrated and deployed on micro satellites to enhance Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare (ISREW) capabilities of the Australian Defence Force. The fully operational system will be deployed on a constellation of small satellites fitted with a range of sensors and monitoring equipment that can detect radars on ships and aircraft.
MOESS will provide ADF units with a dedicated Australian overhead ISREW asset in space for tactical EW support and situational awareness at a fraction of the cost of satellite systems deployed by some other countries.
“Since it is more affordable, Australia can have its own small satellite constellations, an ISREW asset in space that we can reprogram, fit with artificial intelligence systems or update as new technology is being developed. This will give the Australian Defence Force an edge enabling them to better protect our nation” Spencer said.
The aim is to initiate flight trials mid-2021 and in-space testing by late 2022.
DEWC Systems is part of the South Australian based DEWC group of companies specialising in electronic warfare. “We are a community of Electronic Warfare experts with a broad range of experience in Australian Defence projects, research and operations across the Army, Navy, Air Force and now space.”
According to Spencer, “we are fortunate to have such an experienced and competent team who will bring their skills and expertise as DEWC Systems make history and work towards giving Australia a very potent and strategically significant new Defence capability.”