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Latest News From Nova Systems

Nova Systems exhibiting at the 2019 Avalon Airshow!

Jan 14, 2019

Nova Systems is exhibiting at the 2019 Avalon Airshow. The essential aviation, aerospace and defence showcase for Australia and the Asia Pacific region will take place from 26 February to 3 March at Avalon Airport Victoria.

The Asia Pacific region is undergoing major growth in defence and aviation, with budgets in many countries continuing to rise and an ever increasing level of sophistication in technologies, equipment, systems and operational methods. One of the leading gateways to these important markets is AVALON 2019 – the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition.

AVALON 2019 will again present a unique opportunity to showcase products, technologies and services to an informed target audience and to demonstrate a marketing presence in this vibrant and vital region. High levels of economic growth and technological development have resulted in growing demand for aviation and aerospace services, products and technology, right across the spectrum from General Aviation to airlines, air forces and space.

AVALON 2019 will be a valuable opportunity for decision-makers to be informed and for exhibitors to connect with their customers.


Nova Systems is your air and space capability partner for complex futures.

Our focus is:

  • supporting the development and capability of a 5th Generation Air Force;
  • providing sovereign capability as a Major Service Provider to the Capability and Sustainment Group, Australian Defence;
  • providing Capability Assurance and Asset Management to support the whole capability life cycle;
  • being a trusted partner to the Australian Defence Force and Defence Industry;
  • supporting innovative and emerging technologies; and
  • supporting Australia’s emerging space capability.


Nova Systems recently demonstrated their commitment to enhancing the capability and competitiveness of the Australian space sector through signing a Statement of Strategic Intent with the Australian Space Agency. As an Australian leading SATCOM capability, Nova Systems is committed to future satellite communications through the development of a combined commercial, research and development, and training and simulation ground station.

This year, Nova Systems and Graduate Engineer Will Henderson have been named as finalists for the National Defence Innovation Award and for the Young Innovator Scholarship for Defence Industry at the Avalon 2019 Innovation Awards. Both finalists have been recognised for Nova Systems innovative proprietary software tool Requirements Assurance and Validation Suite (RAVS) for which Will was a significant contributor in developing.

Combining Nova Systems’ depth of experience across all domains and types of test and evaluation or verification and validation activities, RAVS enables the provision of unparalleled results in the introduction of new capabilities to delivering real world outcomes that solve our client’s problems. Nova Systems will be providing demonstrations of the proprietary software tool throughout the 2019 Avalon Airshow.

Nova Systems provides industry and government with world class independent expertise in delivering complex projects and solving technically challenging problems. Visit us at stand 2G19, Hall 2 to learn more about our capabilities and how we can help solve the problems that really matter to you.



Avalon Airshow 2019


Avalon 2019 Innovation Awards

The AVALON 2019 Innovation Awards recognise and reward innovation by Australian individuals and organisations at the forefront of innovation in aviation, aerospace, defence and space products, services and business processes.


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Nova Systems Listed in ADM Top 40 Defence Contractors

Jan 9, 2019

Nova Systems has again ranked in the Australian Defence Magazine Top 40 Defence Contractors Survey for 2018.

Recording a steady increase year on year, Nova Systems placed in at #29 recording strong growth, up $13.4m from 2017.

The survey is a valuable and sought after guide to the economic activity generated by the defence industry in Australia.


2018 also saw the introduction of the Major Service Provider Model to the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group within Australian Defence. Team Nova comprised of Nova Systems, QinetiQ and PwC were selected as one of four MSP’s. Also selected was KEY Team, Jacobs Beca Team and Team Downer. Mr Steven Robinson, Chief Executive Nova Systems Australia commented on the arrangement.

“The Major Service Provider (MSP) arrangements are transforming the way Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) engages with industry to support the branches, projects, systems program offices and centres of expertise. We’re very pleased to be on this shared journey together with CASG and the other three MSPs.

Once fully implemented, MSP will deliver shared benefits and value to CASG, the MSPs and the wider industry supply chain, particularly small to medium enterprises and small businesses on the Defence Support Services Panel.

The long term focus on value for money, strategic programs of work and less transactional supplier relationships will help CASG deliver the Integrated Investment Plan. Major business changes like this do take time to roll out across such a large organisation as CASG, but we are confident that industry and Defence will see growing benefits now and as we move into 2019.”

#29 Nova Systems Australia

View the original article here. 

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Dec 21, 2018

As our assets and their operation become more and more complex, they are often accompanied by what appear to be “problems that can’t be solved”.

Steve Ashfield, Senior Technical Adviser & Jon Sciortino, Mining Sector Lead – Co-Lead Authors


Some examples of “problems that can’t be solved” include:

  • Further enhancing productivity
  • Reducing unplanned down-time to zero
  • Greatly reducing the cost of gas well workovers and field development
  • Excess power usage
  • Unpredictability in operating costs


So, exactly why is it that we often can’t solve such problems?

At Nova Systems, we have determined that the primary reason is that these problems are complex in nature. Yet people are trying to resolve these by using thinking approaches designed for solving far more simple problems. Systems thinking tells us that the solution approach must be commensurate with the nature of the beast.


“Whenever I run into a problem I can’t solve, I always make it bigger…” 

General Dwight D. Eisenhower


The reality of such problems is that there is no single or easy solution; from our experience the overarching “issues” are typically a complex aggregation of 20 or more underlying problems. These underlying root problems are locally manageable, but somehow, they coalesce into an emergent issue that seems unsolvable.

The good news is this: most complex problems can be solved, or at least greatly relieved.

The successful approach requires the application of creative problem solving, a willingness to consider divergent/convergent thinking, the development of an opportunity ‘hopper’ and the derivation of value assessments. In terms of value, it may turn out that solving 15 of the 20 underlying problems solves 95% of the overarching issue. Taking this further, our experience shows that ‘fixing’ the overall issue often pays for itself in 12-24 months.

Typically, solutions require a far more refined degree of asset and operations monitoring and control than is the norm across a range of industries. The benefit of this is that such refinement enables the expansion of operating envelopes to yield higher productivity benefits, within an acceptable level of risk. Here’s the rub: doing this will change the way you operate your assets and more broadly, your overall business … for the better.

When addressing these “unsolvable problems”, early effort needs to be focused on the problem space. Specifically, defining it and placing some initial boundaries around the area of concern. The approach then turns to fact finding and the winnowing out of extraneous information that typically confuses the core issues and creates the ‘noise’ that often obscure the real problems. The gathering of facts leads in turn to deriving objectives and an initial list of opportunities that can be addressed to tackle the broader problem.

The net effect is to define a solution space with elements that can be conventionally engineered and managed. Putting these elements together in a logical sequence, as an integrated solution, starts to relieve the overall issue at hand and “move the dial” for your operation.

The key to this approach is to re-frame problems as opportunities in order to create value. Value is of course determined by your objectives – that is, the problem to be solved.

On occasion, these ‘unsolvable’ problems can even appear chaotic in nature, with no obvious method to even begin to characterise the problem. All that can be seen is a set of random symptoms of issues with no apparent cause-effect relationships. Examples of this appear in a number of complex environments, including the Australian energy market, where there are thousands of factors interacting in real-time. For these chaotic problems, it becomes necessary to try test solutions to figure out what the actual problems are.


“When you’re facing a complex problem or trying to do something bold, start with a smaller version of the larger problem. Focus exclusively on that small problem and solve it. Use the answers to this small issue to expand your knowledge of the larger issue. Repeat.”

James Clear, Author


This method of problem solving can deliver profound results for your business. It can eliminate the noise and allow you to focus on the real issues that need to be fixed. All it takes is a measured and repeatable process, and a willingness to challenge traditional methods.


The above Insight has been published from Nova Systems Energy & Resources program. For further information regarding Problems That Can’t Be Solved, contact Tim Anderson, Program Manager – Energy & Resources


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Nova Systems attends meeting of Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems

Dec 18, 2018

Members of the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) convened in Brisbane, Australia 10 – 14 December.

The meeting was hosted by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority and focused on refining the Specific Operation Risk Assessment (SORA) (WG-6), Air Risk models and DAA (WG-4) outcomes. The potential of these efforts to support the commencement of more complex operations is attracting considerable attention internationally. Representatives included experts from National Aviation Authorities (NAAs), Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP’s) and Industry.

Nova Systems has a rich pedigree supporting both the military and civil sector in UAS operations, with experience and knowledge spanning UAS acquisition, operations, system safety, airworthiness management and flight test and evaluation. The company is committed to contributing to the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) community both nationally and internationally, and is proud to have a representative in JARUS: Dr Terrence Martin.

Dr Martin joined representatives from many of the 56 nations involved with JARUS last week.  To help foster multi-national engagement, Nova Systems was delighted to sponsor an “Australiana themed BBQ” at Southbank Parklands for the JARUS participants. “Prawns on the BBQ”, “large tasty slabs of beef served with cold beer” and “Australian Pavlova” were provided, and left a lasting impression on the JARUS participants including representatives from the US, France, Indonesia, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Israel, Romania and South Africa.



JARUS is a group of experts from the National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) and regional aviation safety organizations. Its purpose is to recommend a single set of technical, safety and operational requirements for the certification and safe integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into airspace and at aerodromes. The objective of JARUS is to provide guidance material aiming to facilitate each authority to write their own requirements, with effort dedicated to operational, safety and technical challenges that are hindering commencement of complex operations like flight over people, flight Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), and ultimately, the full integration of UAS into the National Airspace System.

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Nova Systems Insight - Autonomous Systems: Solving the Right Problem

Dec 14, 2018

Business today is fast paced and busier than ever. The impetus to provide high quality products and services in short time frames and at competitive pricing mounts constantly.

Jon Scortino, Mining Sector Lead and Steve Ashfield, Senior Technical Adviser – Co Lead Authors


“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

Abraham Maslow, pre-eminent psychologist


Businesses operating in this ‘pressure cooker’ environment often find themselves turning to technology to provide solutions that will assist them in achieving more efficient production, safety improvement, and cost reduction wins.

They grapple with the relentless advance of technologies and techniques, including big data, digital twin and augmented reality (AR), as well as the impact of digitalisation on safetyasset management and the expectation that all of these are needed now.

This has seen the birth of a new ‘industry’ in autonomous systems, with vehicles (ground and air) at the tip of the spear. Meanwhile, industrial automation programs are becoming more and more prevalent, ranging from relatively simple machinery automation right through to ‘smart’ autonomous systems that apply machine learning and advanced robotics techniques.

Large scale operations are heavily focused on finding ways to balance the supply/demand equation, such as in autonomous mining, while small and medium enterprises try to efficiently achieve business growth. However, as industries grow and develop, and new solutions become available, more and more businesses are being swayed by the tendency to see the “shiny new widget” as a solution to the challenges being faced.

Often by the time a business gets to this stage, the pressure is so intense that there is a desperate need for a solution to be created. Experience has shown that the best salespeople in the world will work to convince you that you have a problem and they have the solution. In the race to create change through quick wins, widgets are deployed to provide “improvements”.

Consider this non-hypothetical scenario: a business adopts autonomous technology at considerable cost to solve a safety or efficiency problem, when a relatively inexpensive set of process changes might have been equally effective.

So, what is the real problem in this situation?

Is it a lack of autonomous technology? Are your competitors adopting autonomous technology and you feel like you’re being left behind? Or is it something deeper, or even simpler?

Before you jump into buying a solution that someone else has convinced you will solve a problem, that they’ve also convinced you that you have, we propose that you:

… understand your needs before you consider what technology to adopt.

Autonomy may well be the solution – or part of the solution – that your business needs. For those businesses who do choose to go down the autonomous technology path it is critical that you:

  • Do the ‘front end’ work first: articulate your needs and how your newly automated business is going to operate at end-state; and
  • Understand the requirements that flow from those needs.


Completing these tasks at the beginning will shape the overall solution and help you to validate that it matches your endorsed needs. Importantly, this approach will save you the significant expense of having to unwind newly installed operations that don’t provide an effective solution.

Experience gained across a range of industries, including aerospace, mining, transport, power, water and oil & gas indicates that a given enterprise problem space is typically comprised of a dozen or more subordinate issues. This is further complicated by the fact that resolving those underlying issues individually won’t necessarily ‘fix’ the problem space. In other words, an integrated solution is required.

Integration is almost always misunderstood. This understates the problem (or problems) to be solved. In particular the fact that the problem space is often a system with emergent properties greater than the sum of its parts. Thus, a systems approach will consider overall performance, structures, patterns and cycles in the problem space rather than specific events or elements. By extension, a focus on the entire system leads to the identification of solutions that address as many issues as possible in the overall system and leads their emergent or joint solving of an overall issue.

A systems thinking approach defines and scopes the holistic operational concept, operational and technical requirements, and the other systems and stakeholders that the solution program needs to interoperate with.  Without such an approach, you are limited to improvements only, and the right problems will most likely remain unsolved.


The above Insight has been published from Nova Systems Energy & Resources program. For further information regarding Autonomous Systems contact Tim Anderson, Program Manager – Energy & Resources

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