Source:United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (https://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/ieds/)
As winners of the Counter Improvised Threats Grand Challenge, Sci Aero is working with University of Western Australia’s Microelectronics Research Group and Panorama Synergy to develop a UAV to detect improvised threats.
The group has been awarded $2.9 million dollars as part of an initiative of Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund. The research is using innovative engineering capabilities to safely detect improvised threats, such as roadside bombs and hidden explosives.
Annually, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) kill and injure more people than any other type of weapon except firearms. Between 2011 and 2015 there were 6,300 recorded IED explosions resulting in more than 105,000 casulaties (UNODA 2018). The increase in IED attacks is an alarming and unmistakable trend.
The grant will fund a three year research project to develop a drone that can fly ahead of a convoy and safetly detect improvised threats before soldiers or civilians encounter the devices. There is also the potential to use the technology to scout out major venues for threats planted or carried by terrorists.