Tue. Aug 20th, 2019

Air Force engages Sydney nanotech to revolutionize sensing capability

RAAF Plan Jericho seeks to modernize Australia’s defense capacity. The Jericho Sensing Laboratory at Sydney Nano will form a critical part of the plan’s scientific infrastructure.

Researchers at the Jericho Smart Sensing Laboratory will develop nanoscale devices that can assess the physical, chemical, biological, acoustic or electromagnetic environment. This is vital technology for Australia in monitoring electromagnetic, space and underwater domains as they become more contested and congested.

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

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

Air-Vice Marshal Turnbull said: “Our academic and other partners are helping us to disrupt ourselves in a controlled way, which is a far better proposition than unwillingly being disrupted by our competitors.”

Associate Professor Cara Wrigley from the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning has been appointed the Jericho Chair of Design Innovation, responsible for bringing the University of Sydney’s research closer to real-world defense 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 defense capability advantage for Australia,” she said.

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

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