Innovative concepts on display at Shark Tank 5

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Murray Lindsay (author), POIS Justin Brown (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Albatross

Topic(s): Science, Technology & Innovation, Fleet Air Arm

Dr Wu presents to the Fleet Air Arm Shark Tank audience. (photo: POIS Justin Brown)
Dr Wu presents to the Fleet Air Arm Shark Tank audience.

The Navy Fleet Air Arm (FAA) has maintained its momentum on the Innovative Behaviours Program by conducting the fifth FAA Shark Tank (FAAST) at HMAS Albatross.

The event consisted of a number of innovative concept presentations as well as a guest speaker.

The guest speaker was Dr Dong Yang Wu, the Chief of Aerospace Division in the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG).

In her presentation, Dr Wu outlined her desire for the division to contribute to the transformation of Australia’s air power through world leading science and innovation.

“To achieve this goal, we must resist the temptation to keep doing what has worked in the past or conduct unfocussed research,” Dr Wu said.

“The intent must be to maximise the abilities resident within the division to directly improve aerospace capability.”

Three innovation concepts were presented by FAA personnel for consideration by the FAAST panel.

A mechanical rescue hoist cable rinse system was presented by Leading Seaman Robert Woodhead.

“This commercially available equipment allows the rescue hoist cable to be washed and lubricated while being inspected in a more efficient manner than current manual methods,” LS Woodhead said.

The second innovation concept was developed by Able Seaman Braeden McGuinness.

Although not directly attributable to combat capability, the concept was for the development of a hobbies/general purpose workshop at Albatross.

“The major advantages in delivering this project would be the potential for fostering camaraderie between personnel of all ranks and ages by bringing them together in a neutral environment to share common interests around a variety of engineering or construction based hobbies,” AB McGuinness said.

The final innovation concept was presented by AB Daniel Beazley who is currently in the Sikorsky Tec Mastery Program and a student on the FAA/University of Sydney Systems Innovation course.

“My concept is for the adoption of battery powered wireless headset systems for maintenance personnel, to ease communication in noisy environments,” AB Beazley said.

“Shouting at each other or using hand signals can become frustrating during precision procedures such as moving aircraft or fine tuning live aircraft systems.”

Commander Fleet Air Arm (COMFAA), Commodore Chris Smallhorn, finalised proceedings by accepting the value of all concepts presented and committing to support each one while presenting the winners award to LS Woodhead for the rescue hoist rinse system.

This was CDRE Smallhorn’s final FAAST as COMFAA, which has seen 12 innovation concepts proposed over the two year period since the FAA Innovative Behaviours strategy was inaugurated under his tenure.

For Defence personnel, further details on the FAA innovation program can be found on the Defence intranet by searching for 'FAAST'.
Additional imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at and