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Australia’s DEWC Systems Receives $2 Million Contract To Build Satellite Electronic Warfare Sensor

DEWC Systems’ Troy Boswell works on a piece of MOESS technology. Photograph courtesy of Simon Casson/Defence Innovation Partnerships.

DEWC Systems, Australia’s leading defence electronics systems manufacturer, has received a AUS$3.1 million (US$2.02 million) contract from the Australian Department of Defence to build the sensors for Miniaturised Orbital Electronic Warfare Sensor System (MOESS) programme, it has been reported on 28 April 2020.

MOESS will be a constellation of 20 CubeSats that will detect radio and electronic signals for radio frequency reconnaissance and geolocation purposes and will be operated by the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Once operational, MOESS will become the first indigenously developed, manufactured, operated, and owned national security space system in Australia.

DEWC Systems, headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia, was awarded the contract as part of the multi-phased MOESS programme, having initially been awarded a AUS$150,000 (US$97,930) Defence Innovation Partnership grant in 2018 to lead the phase one step.

DEWC Systems partnered with Defence Science & Technology (DST), Flinders University, University of South Australia, and the University of Adelaide for phase one of the MOESS programme.

The AUS$3.1 million contract constitutes phase two of the MOESS programme and will involve developing a concept demonstration for the MOESS sensors by making the integrated sensors to show that the sensor technology works.

DEWC Systems will integrate the sensors into their CubeSats and is developing an artificial intelligence (AI) capability that can identify and classify radars that the sensors detect.

Phase two is expected to be completed by the first half of 2021, and phase three of the MOESS programme involves the launch of the MOESS demonstrator CubeSat that is currently scheduled for the first half of 2022.

“We want to be able to prove we can deploy these things quickly on affordable platforms so we can help contribute to the tactical and strategic picture of the Australian Defence Force. The awarding of this contract has given us the ability to tool up a little bit more and the confidence to press ahead pretty hard,” said DEWC Systems CEO Ian Spencer in an interview with South Australian newspaper The Lead SA.

“It really has been a significant piece of work for us and we’re pulling out all stops to do it to the best of our capability. We’ll build as much of it as we can, certainly in the design space we will but there will be some components that won’t be able to be manufactured here and we’ll have to source elsewhere and some specialist stuff that will involve other Australian companies,” Spencer added.

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