I had the opportunity to travel to Canberra, and represent Telstra Labs at MilCIS (Military Communications and Information Systems Conference).

I was joined by my colleague Peter Jones, representing the Telstra UAV program, as well as Telstra Track and Monitor, Readify (Telstra consulting company), and Telstra Liberate Your Workforce (Office 365).

I demonstrated an example of the MaskRCNN, and discussed the pipeline of data capture from the displayed helicopter, ingestion into a big data platform, AI modelling and processing, and visualization back to the customer.

Peter demonstrated our flying "Cell on Wings" and Readify showcased the AR "HALIA" demonstration.

Other Vendors

I also had the opportunity to visit the other exhibitors, and see other fantastic technologies.


Hawkei Computer Vision

Thales showcased a AI & computer vision integration system, which also hooked into all the vehicle systems (tyre pressure, oil temp, etc.). The AI application was a simple object detection, serving as a placeholder for all the complex threat detection algorithms that could be used.

Systems Integrations

Due to the classified nature of Thales' work, they built an integration demo of a number of open source datasets (aviation ADS-B, naval AIS etc) to showcase their integration work.

Naval Boarding & Video Streaming

The final demo was a video streaming system, from cameras mounted on safety glasses or helmets. This is being used by Navy boarding teams, to allow for better operational management and evidence capture.


Leidos is an American scientific research company, which builds integrations for Australian defence.

Apollo & Smart Medical Stretcher

Apollo was the high tech "dummy" Leidos was showcasing. Apollo made facial expressions, breathes, has a pulse, can scream in pain and has removable internal organs. Whilst possibly a little terrifying, he is a fantastic platform for training medical teams.

Leidos is using him together with their augmented military stretcher to provide end-to-end tracking of patient health and vitals, from the field, to the medical transport, to the hospital.


Seahunter is a fully autonomous ship, with a range of 19,000km and 90 days solo operating time.

Australia is required by law to map the seafloor surrounding the coast, for shipwrecks, reefs, other hazards and to generate terrain maps. The Seahunter autonomous pilots itself around Australia, completing this mapping.

The same Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs) are used in anti-submarine warfare.


This platform allowed users to quickly search the open source anti-terrorism database. Users were able to search keywords across all past incidents (amusingly, "chicken" returned multiple results regarding poultry theft).

Suicide Prevention

The CareC2 platform Leidos was a prototpye that uses machine learning to identify and assign risk scores for veterans at risk of depression and suicide.

Satcom Technologies

Satellite communications were a major focus of many vendors, showcasing their solutions. Satellite communications are fantastic for coverage in regions not serviced by LTE networks, or other communications technologies, but have low throughput, are expensive, and have lower throughputs.

There was significant interest in using our Cell on Wings to rebroadcast from Satcom trailers, to give extended regions of coverage on the ground.

Long Range Visual Scanning

The MEOS scanning platform is used by Defence to secure ports and coastlines.

It has visual scanning systems up to 20km, Short Wave Infra-Red 16km, and Thermal up to 6km. It continually scans a 360 degree view of its environment, and uses computer vision to detect anomalies and new objects.

Custom AI applications are able to leverage the long range visual scanning for threat detection applications.

Other technologies

Methanol Generators

The Jenny 1200 and Emily 3000 methanol generators are used for electricity generation with virtually no noise. These applications allow for covert operations (surveilance vans, cars etc) in addition to being far lighter than conventional batteries (for infantry travelling long distances on foot).

Racing Simulator

No real connection to Defence, but was drawing in visitors.

Battlefield Simulations

The vendor showcased a wide range of military simulations, and also had integrations with VR SDKs, showcased on the Vive Pro.

Military Radio Gear

A wide range of UHF / VHF radio gear was on display, all ruggedized for military use.


Categories: Events