Commercialising Our Research

DTA has developed several technologies and products that have commercial potential and we have partnered with specialist companies to help us take these to market. This has benefitted the NZDF and New Zealand business.

During the course of our work, DTA scientists and engineers develop technologies that have potential applications outside of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

To get more value from the NZDF’s science and technology investment, and to maximise the impact of our work, we commercialise these technologies wherever possible.

To maximise the effectiveness of our commercial activities, we have partnered with:

You can read about how we have commercialised some of our projects below.

SurfZone View

One of the most dangerous aspects of ship to shore activity is navigating the often hazardous ‘surf zone.'  Even the most experienced sailors have come to grief after miscalculating waves and currents.  SurfZone View (SZV) is a software tool that models the characteristics of waves as they move from deep water to the beach.  It was specifically designed to provide information to command teams planning any form of amphibious and near-shore operations.  Using data and bathymetry (the study of underwater depth), it estimates the shape and size of the waves and currents at the beach. Tidal height can also be added to help assess the combined effect of waves and tide on landing manoeuvres.  This tool stands out from competitors because of its simplicity, ease of use and little reliance on digital communications.  It has been developed as a joint venture between DTA and MetOcean Solutions. Partnering with MetOcean Solutions has enabled the rapid development of this project, allowing quicker production, testing, and commercialisation. 

Minister of Defence Industry Award Announcement

Surfzone Case Study

Follow this link to view MetOcean's Surfzone video

Follow this link to information about the Southern Ocean Wave Atlas presentation at NZ Antarctic Science Conference


Diver Signature Evaluation System (DSES) / METRES sales into the US Navy

The DSES / METRES tool is for training divers to approach sea floor mines safely. It has a mine-like body and:

  • monitors and reports (in real time) on the levels of various signatures from approaching divers

  • assesses the likely outcome for known mine algorithms and responds appropriately

  • records data and video for training analysis.

It was commercialised by Air Affairs Ltd. Six of the systems, renamed METRES (Maritime EOD – Explosive Ordinance Disposal – Training Ranging and Evaluation System), have been purchased by the US Navy.

SAPIEN de-interleaving Software, Ploughshare Innovation Ltd, UK

A significant and enduring electronic warfare problem is reliable, automatic and rapid classification of ‘threat’ radars. The key to good classification is separating and sorting the incoming streams of radar pulses from many radar sources – a technique called de-interleaving.  Working collaboratively, but with primary IP ownership, DTA developed a mathematical technique that brings high reliability and low cost to this particular class of de-interleaving problem.  The UK Ministry of Defence, through the Defence Science and Technology Laboratories-owned company Ploughshare Innovations Ltd, signed a licensing agreement with DTA and the SAPIEN algorithm has been transferred to specialist electronic warfare companies in the UK.  An example of its use is in a radar threat identification system manufactured by Teledyne of the UK which contains the SAPIEN algorithm, and has been selected as an interim very low-cost fit for Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) ships.

Commander’s Console, Bluewater Systems Ltd

General Dynamics’ Sectera Secure Module encrypts both speech and data to provide secure communications over a variety of communications bearers, including standard telephone lines. However, set-up times can be lengthy under the stressful conditions in which they are frequently used.  The Commander’s Console system enables fast automated setup for an embedded Sectera unit. The Console is battery operated and is designed for use by first responders in the field until full communication facilities can be provided.

Protector ESM Suite, MAROPS Ltd

The Protector ESM (Electronic Support Measures) Suite, known by the RNZN as RDS1000, is a radar detection and tracking system for patrol vessels.  It is similar in concept to the radar tracking systems found on larger military ships. However, it is highly automated and uses low-cost commercial hardware and software.  Final development and production of the units for Navy delivery was contracted out under license to a local company, MAROPS Ltd, with subcontractors or suppliers from New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Germany. THE ESM Suite is now in service with the RNZN Protector fleet. Learn more about this system on the MAROPS website.