Leidos Aviation Professionals Named Finalists in 2023 Australian Aviation Awards
Leidos Australia Dash 8 Captain & Head of Turboprop Operations, Braden Blennerhassett, and Manager Mission Systems Technical Development and Support, Chris Dalmazzo, have both been shortlisted in the Australian Aviation Awards as finalists. Braden in the category of Aviation Safety Professional of the Year, and Chris in the category of Engineering Professional of the Year.
Braden Blennerhassett – Finalist, Aviation Safety Professional of the Year
Leidos Australia provides airborne surveillance services to protect Australian borders and surveillance aircrew operate in remote areas of the open ocean, well outside of normal Air Traffic Control services and the normal support network that Airline and Charter operators can expect. As our search operations cover a wide area and are of long duration, they are often impacted by a dynamic weather environment.
Braden developed an app ‘Weather Dodge’ that enables Leidos Airborne Solutions Australia’s Operations team to request and receive weather updates in real-time, and send them from the ground station to the aircraft. Weather Dodge provides information to help protect aircrew from unanticipated changes in weather at or enroute to destinations, using destination weather data and satellite/radar imagery. It also provides aircrew with alternative landing destinations should a diversion be necessary for the safety of the aircraft and crew on board.
Through the development of this app, Braden has made an outstanding contribution to safe flying operations.
Chris Dalmazzo – Finalist, Engineering Professional of the Year
Chris helped deliver an advanced technological solution for Leidos’ Australian airborne surveillance operation through his involvement in the development of a customised Mission Management System for Leidos’ Dash 8 surveillance aircraft.
The Mission Management System is the computer used to capture, integrate and disseminate all data (video, audio, imagery) generated by the technologies fitted into the aircraft (the sensors, radar, Electro-Optics and broadband satellite communications), to enable Leidos and its customer to see and interact with it in real-time. It enables the ground operations team together with the aircrew to identify next steps required in each mission.
Chris played a significant role in the team that worked in collaboration with leading Australian defence software and systems engineering company Acacia Systems, to create the new Mission Management System. This is the first surveillance Mission Management System of this kind to be designed and developed in Australia.
Leidos Vice President Airborne Solutions Australia, James Woodhams said, “Through initiative, innovation and dedication, both Braden and Chris, in their respective fields, have contributed greatly to the safe and effective delivery of critical airborne surveillance services.”
“We’re thrilled that Braden and Chris have been recognised among industry peers for this important work,” Mr Woodhams said.
The Australian Aviation Awards is a national recognition program that showcases the outstanding individuals and businesses positively shaping the growth and development of Australia’s aviation industry. The finalist list features high-achieving professionals and businesses across several categories. Winners will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner in Sydney on 31 August 2023.