Defence and National Security represents a major research and teaching focus for the School. This includes work such as autonomous underwater vehicles and intelligence analysis techniques through to new robotics and maritime electronics.
In particular, the School has the following activities that directly target careers and research issues in this area:
- Our collaboration with the Australian Maritime College to offer the Bachelor of Engineering (Naval Architecture) was in direct response to Australia's shortage of engineers and in particular the needs that are being created, and which will be apparent for many years, as a result of the defence white paper. This document outlined substantial increases to naval capability including the acquisition of 12 new Future Submarines, to be assembled in South Australia. This represents Australia's largest ever single defence project.
- The Centre for Maritime Engineering, Control and Imaging is working on:
- The Adaptive Control Systems project explores analytical and experimental techniques for predicting and controlling deformations in flexible structures subject to a temperature gradient. The work includes conducting computational studies using coupled structural-temperature-fluid dynamics numerical tools to predict the aerothermoelastic behaviour of the structure, simulating high-speed flight conditions.
- The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle programme combines a number of research disciplines exploring the design and application of an underwater vehicle for seabed mapping, pipeline tracking, plume tracking and video imaging. Research specialisations include multisensor fusion for navigation, 6-DOF control, and sonar/video imaging. This programme also involves collaboration with other research partners internal and external to the University.
- The development of reconfigurable embedded system platforms. The platforms are designed to provide high-performance dedicated computing engines for use in unmanned vehicles.
- The Centre for Knowledge and Interaction Technologies is investigating:
- The Development of a High Level Fusion Capability to assist in the development of the ability to process simplified natural language to enable the fusion of textual information with symbolic information;
- A human factors investigation into the utility and visualization of metadata. This explores and objectively evaluates interfaces to visually represent metadata in ways that are easily understood by human users;
- A Human Factors investigation into use of automated vehicles in military convoys. In a situation where a human operator controls a convoy of semi-automated vehicles, the project investigates the effect on the operator's workload and trust in the robot technology when the technology occasionally malfunctions.
- Our Data Mining and Conceptual Modelling research program investigates the development and application of advanced algorithmic, architectural and visualisation techniques to the discovery of knowledge from large volumes of complex data. Of particular interest is its application to defence and national security intelligence applications with significant engagement in research with DSTO.
For further information on the School's activities in this area please contact A/Prof Karl Sammut.
Elsewhere in the University
Other areas of the University that target defence and/or national security include the Centre of Expertise in Energetic Materials