New silent radar technology to protect soldiers and manage commercial air traffic will be brought to market with the help of $200,000 in State Government funding.

South Australian start-up Silentium Defence’s passive radar technology uses a silent sensor to locate active and silent objects, eliminating the chances of large radio signals being detected by enemy troops.

Using radiofrequency energy to map out an environment, its passive radar system also could be used to manage commercial transportation traffic at airfields and seaports.

The South Australian Early Commercialisation Fund grant will help expedite bringing Silentium Defence’s product to the market by enabling the company to start producing prototypes and perform testing with customers.


The $10 million, four-year SA Early Commercialisation Fund provides staged grants of up to $500,000 and is administered by TechInSA, which is funded by the State Government to work with the high-tech industry to bring innovative South Australian products and technologies to global markets.

The innovative system was developed in South Australia at the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group under the guidance of Silentium Defence CEO James Palmer, a former research scientist, together with Chief Technology Officer Simon Palumbo, also formerly with the DST Group. They founded Silentium Defence in order to commercialise the technology and further develop it for defence and civilian customers.

Quotes attributable to Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher

The South Australian Early Commercialisation Fund is supporting the outstanding innovation happening across a broad range industry sectors in South Australia, from defence to agriculture, IT and medical science.

We know that the defence industry is one of our strengths and we are pleased to be assisting Silentium Defence to bring its game changing passive radar technology to market, with the potential to help protect our troops serving overseas.

Quotes attributable to TechinSA Chief Executive Joe Thorp

We’ve been overwhelmed by the extent of interest in the early commercialisation funding which proves the enormous capacity for this state to innovate.

So far, TechInSA has received over 300 expressions of interest from entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and businesses across every industry sector.

Quotes attributable to Silentium Defence Chief Executive Dr James Palmer

There is a significant export potential for our technology. We are aiming to have Silentium Defence products on the global market within the next two years, potentially through a global partner.

What makes our technology unique is its agility and scalability. Existing active radars send out a large blast of radio energy and then listen for echoes from objects in the surrounding area. This is a problem in the defence context, as these large blasts of radio energy become a beacon that potential adversaries are able to use.

What we have done with our passive radar is leverage the presence of background sources of broadcast radio and television instead, which means our users can operate without needlessly advertising their presence.