Defence engages Nanotech to revolutionise sensing capability

The Royal Austalian Air Force (RAAF) and the University of Sydney Nano Institute today launched a scientific collaboration to provide world-leading sensing technology for Australia’s defence.

Researchers at the Jericho Smart Sensing Laboratory at the University of Sydney will develop nanoscale devices that can assess physical, chemical, biological, acoustic or electromagnetic environment.

Plan Jericho is RAAF’s project to develop augmented intelligence capability to protect Australia from technologically sophisticated and rapidly changing threats. The Jericho Smart Sensing Laboratory will form a critical part of the plan’s scientific infrastructure.

Deputy Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Turnbull said the technology was vital in monitoring electromagnetic, space and underwater domains as they became more contested and congested.

“Advanced sensors give us a clearer picture of what is happening against difficult targets in challenging environments,” Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Turnbull said.

“We need to think differently to achieve and maintain competitive edge in a rapidly changing world, and this is something we cannot do alone.

“Our academic partners are helping us to disrupt ourselves in a controlled way, which is a far better proposition than unwillingly being disrupted by our enemies.”

Associate Professor Cara Wrigley from the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning has been appointed the Jericho Chair of Design Innovation and will be responsible for bringing research closer to real-world defence problems.

“The University of Sydney’s world-leading design methodologies, partnered with Air Force’s experience, will accelerate our cutting-edge photonics research into a real defence capability advantage for Australia,” Associate Professor Wrigley said.

“The technology developed at the Jericho Smart Sensing Lab will be optimised for Australian conditions, including humidity, foliage and other environmental factors that currently pose challenges for airborne sensors.

“When used on aircraft, satellites, vehicles and integrated into a sophisticated Combat Cloud – or Internet of Defence Things – these sensors will enable game-changing awareness.”

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