Funding boost for information technology

11 March 2013

Associate Professor Xiaoke Yi demonstrates her research project to Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon.
Associate Professor Xiaoke Yi demonstrates her research project to Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon.

A University of Sydney research program focussed on photonic signal processing to improve defence capability is among a handful of projects to receive federal government funding announced today by Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon.

Mr Snowdon made the announcement at the University of Sydney's School of Electrical and Information Engineering, where technology related to one of the proposals funded was demonstrated.

Associate Professor Xiaoke Yi, a QEII Fellow at the University's Institute of Photonics and Optical Science, was among the group that will share up to $13 million committed under the Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program.

Managed by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, the program supports Australian industry to develop and demonstrate new technologies that could contribute to defence capability.

"Eight technology proposals were selected this year to demonstrate possible defence applications," Mr Snowdon said.

"By supporting these proposals, we create the potential to advance defence capability, produce innovative products for defence and civilian use, and stimulate Australian industry growth.

"That proposal will leverage the latest developments in photonic signal processing to enable very small and fast-moving targets to be quickly discerned even in unpredictable battlefield scenarios when there is a significant amount of signal clutter," he said.

"It aims to increase the electronic warfare capability of our Anzac-class frigates, and might also be applicable to the Air Warfare Destroyer and the Future Frigate.

"The Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program has produced very good results for high-risk research and development projects that benefit defence and Australian industry.

"This year's successful proposals include a project to develop a lightweight combat helmet with greater protection from high-powered rifles and fragments, a system that will help helicopter crews see in bad weather, and technology that will protect electronic warfare systems from electronic interference," he said.

Mr Snowdon congratulated all companies involved in supporting innovative research and development for defence applications.

Professor Archie Johnston, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies said that the School's research into photonic signal processing explores powerful new paradigms for processing high-bandwidth signals.

"It opens up new possibilities for directly processing the signals that are modulated on an optical carrier, allowing the direct processing of high-frequency signals that are already in the optical domain."

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