Ebor staggers its research and development (R&D) program with its contract work. For example, Ebor applies skills acquired through contract work, such as Sahara/Nullarbor, to supplement its own R&D program for DF systems. When staff are actively engaged in contract work, fewer personnel are directly employed in an R&D program than otherwise would be when staff are between contracts. Between client contracts, Ebor personnel are tasked with R&D activities associated with developing Ebor’s products and services portfolio (e.g. the SmartMove™ system, the DF system, digital transceivers, man-pack UPS). Examples of tasks include investigation of specific problems commensurate to the product or service (e.g. determining the effect of nearby objects, through measurement and analysis, on a multi-element antenna array), designing/modifying hardware/software to support the R&D tasks, dissemination of white papers for internal use and for journals, attendance at conferences, and further education. At times, Ebor supports research programs at universities. In the past, Ebor has committed full-time personnel as “in-kind” R&D effort to the University of Adelaide for the design, implementation, and testing of a multi-channel receiver in the form of an ASIC. Ebor occasionally offers research scholarships to selected personnel and students at universities for the completion of university degrees.
Research and development at Ebor follows an informal process. Questions are presented and, after consideration of the potential R&D outcomes by the director(s), appropriate R&D effort and funding is assigned to the task of answering the questions. Information, produced as a result of the R&D effort, is generally managed by a project manager or team leader. Typically, this information is archived in a networked repository (e.g. via Git) with task updates/changes being recorded through a web-based ticketing system (e.g. JIRA). Results are usually recorded in the form of written documentation at the end of small R&D tasks; documentation for larger tasks is usually written in parallel with the execution of the task.
The R&D program directly supports the niche capabilities of Ebor because all of the capabilities are exercised through various aspects of the R&D program. For example, Ebor has one laboratory specifically designed for implementation, integration, and testing of software and hardware systems. Ebor has another laboratory that is fully RF-shielded to support highly-classified R&D programs.