South Australian SME Daronmont Technologies has achieved a major milestone in the $1.2 billion upgrade of Australia’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) with the completion of advanced design work on sounders and transponders that enable the strategic surveillance capability operating across Australia’s north.
JORN is an integral part of Australia's national defence capability, with an established network of three remote Over The Horizon Radars (OTHR) located in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. The Phase 6 upgrade to the 35-year-old capability will incorporate next generation technologies and extend JORN’s operational life to beyond 2042.
Daronmont, a teaming partner to lead JORN contractor BAE Systems Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia, has deployed teams to deliver integration, software and engineering expertise through the design phase of the upgrade, while also providing sounders and transponders across the northern coast of Australia and at each JORN site.
Each sounder provides a primary source of ionospheric data collected and analysed by the JORN radar. Each transponder provides a known location to calibrate the data analysed by the JORN radar. The set of sounders and transponders scattered around the Australian coast and inland locations are nearing the end of their design life and will be replaced under the upgrade. Several new sounders and transponders are being added to the network to increase the capability of the JORN radar.
In February 2022, Daronmont Technologies delivered the last of a comprehensive data pack comprising 688 artefacts in the lead up to the Sounders and Transponders Detailed Design Review (DDR). The company says the Sounders and Transponders DDR is a critical milestone in the Phase 6 upgrade which now opens the way for subsystems and componentry to be fabricated.
The work conducted by Daronmont Technologies through prototyping and testing all key developmental assemblies was key in “de-risking” the JORN project, the company said. This is in preparation for the implementation and integration phase (next phase).
Daronmont CEO Ben Norris praised the combined BAE Systems and Daronmont JORN teams on the successful conclusion to the DDR.
“This result is the culmination of several years of hard work and strong collaboration and we now look forward to executing our designs in the next exciting phase of the sounders and transponders upgrade," Norris said.
“We value the strong partnership with BAE Systems Australia and especially the Integrated Project Team (IPT) approach that the company champions.”
BAE Systems Australia Director of Battlespace Integrated Solutions, Ash Searl, welcomed the milestone.
“JORN is a critical asset that ensures the Australian Defence Force has a comprehensive understanding of activity north of Australia’s maritime borders," Searl said.
“This latest on-schedule milestone is a result of the excellent working relationship between the Commonwealth, BAE Systems and Daronmont Technologies and clearly demonstrates the benefits of having a collaborative “one team" approach."