Defence showcases innovation for National Science Week
20 August 2015
The Department of Defence today marked National Science Week by showcasing a number of innovative technologies designed to support the Australian Defence Force.
Opening the event, Chief Defence Scientist Dr Alex Zelinsky said a modern defence force like the ADF needed to leverage advances in technology to maintain its capability edge.
“Today we’re highlighting a diverse range of these technologies developed by Defence scientists and also by Australian industry under the Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) Program,” Dr Zelinsky said.
“National Science Week has given us a great opportunity to showcase how science and technology supports Defence capability.”
Among the technologies presented were low-cost, lightweight force protection systems developed under the Redwing program by Defence scientists and manufactured by Australian industry to counter improved explosive devices.
Technologies designed for the modern soldier include the Non Rigid Electromechanical Exoskeleton, which takes the weight off a soldier’s back when carrying heavy backpacks over long distances, transferring the weight load to the ground to reduce fatigue, pain and injury.
The Soldier Integrated Power System is a kit of flexible, lightweight solar cells, and power- generating electronic textiles to reduce the weight of batteries carried by soldiers. This technology was successfully demonstrated and developed through the CTD program by Australian company Tectonica.
Defence scientists are investigating a novel energy harvesting approach that scavenges power from a vehicle’s structural vibrations and converts them into electrical power for use by embedded diagnostic sensors and devices.
Another silent threat faced by Defence as well as civilian industries is in the cyber realm. Defence scientists have won an innovation award for the development of a Digital Video Guard, a unique computer security device that provides protection against cyber intrusion.
Dr Zelinsky said the keynote presentation on the development of the wing kit for the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) demonstrates the value that science and technology adds to Defence capability.
“The wing kit, developed by our scientists, enables the standard JDAM weapon to more accurately find longer range targets, giving the launch aircraft a fire-and-forget capability at a safe standoff distance.”
The first production wing kits manufactured by Australian company Ferra Engineering were recently delivered to the RAAF.
“The technology examples highlighted demonstrate the close partnerships between Defence, industry and universities,” Dr Zelinsky said.
Imagery will be available later today at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20152304
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