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High-tech tanker specialist enters aerospace sector

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Smeaton Grange-headquartered tanker specialist Omni Tanker has partnered with the University of NSW and space giants Lockheed Martin in a landmark project.

Funded by $1.4m from the federal government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), the trio will look at ways to solve the challenges of using composites for the transportation and storage of liquid hydrogen with applications on ground, in the air, underwater and in space.

Omni Tanker, with its significant experience in the development and commercialisation of strong, lightweight composite transport vessels, has the know-how and technology to translate the recent research innovations for a myriad of applications, it said in a statement.

Combining nano-engineering technology developed by UNSW in partnership with Lockheed Martin and Omni Tanker, and Omni Tanker’s patented OmniBIND technology, the collaboration will result in the development of two new operational scale propellant tanks for storing cryogenic liquid fuels for commercial and civil satellite programs.

Omni Tanker’s CEO, Daniel Rodgers said this next phase in its collaboration with Lockheed Martin and UNSW is a landmark development that sees Omni Tanker’s seamless thermoplastic lining technology enter the aerospace sector.

“The OmniBIND technology has made inroads to revolutionising the safe and efficient movement of challenging liquids within the chemical transport sector. Now the growing need to decarbonise the energy industry, and the re-usable low-earth-orbit satellite market, have the potential to drive major utilisation for these new technologies,” Rodgers said.

Christopher Hess, head of industrial development, Lockheed Martin Australia acknowledged the support of AMGC and welcomed the opportunity for ongoing collaboration with UNSW and Omni Tanker.

“Lockheed Martin invests millions of dollars every year into R&D programs with our Australian industry and research partners to solve real challenges facing our Global Supply Chains,” he said.

“We have had a long-standing research collaboration with UNSW and Omni Tanker, and we are grateful for the support of the AMGC as we now look to commercialise these cutting edge, Australian-developed composite tank technologies for a number of Lockheed Martin and NASA applications.”

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