Lighting the fight

How cutting edge light-based technologies are helping the
Australian Defence Force keep our country secure

With 2015 being the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies, this special presentation will celebrate the long history of collaborative light-based research between the University of Adelaide and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).

Key figures from the University’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) will join with their DSTO counterparts to discuss some of their most fascinating joint light-based defence projects, including the development of:

  • advanced light-based sonar for submarines
  • next-generation optical fibre capable of transmitting very high power laser signals and sensing chemicals, radiation and biological markers
  • ultra-high temperature optical fibre sensors
  • ‘stealthy’ magnetic-field-sensing surveillance systems.

The presenters

Professor Andre Luiten, FAIP, is Director of IPAS and Chair of Experimental Physics at the University of Adelaide. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics and a former joint-winner of the inaugural Prize for Early Career Achievement in the Western Australian Premier’s Science Awards.

Associate Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem is a leader of the Optical Materials & Structures Theme at the University of Adelaide’s IPAS. She is also Associate Director of the Optofab node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility, for which the University is a centre of expertise. Heike is a former winner of the International Zwick Science Award.

Dr Barnaby Smith leads the DSTO Opto-Electronics Hub, as well as a group working on electro-optical sensors and processing. He completed his PhD in physics at the University of Adelaide, and maintains close links to the University through the DSTO’s shared use of the IPAS Environmental Luminescence Facility.

Dr Ken Grant leads a DSTO team of photonics researchers developing laser communications systems for the Australian Defence Force. He completed his PhD in laser spectroscopy at the University of New South Wales, and has worked on a number of related DSTO projects, including laser development, optical signal processing and remote sensing.

Dr Scott Foster is a Senior Research Scientist with the DSTO’s Maritime Division, leading research into advanced sensor technologies for undersea surveillance. With a PhD in mathematical physics from the University of Adelaide, he works closely with Australian industry to transition novel technologies into defence capability, including advanced sonar systems for Australia’s future ships and submarines.

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