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Defence Technologies

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Cryogenic Sapphire Clock

The culmination of 20 years of leading-edge fundamental research, combined with cutting-edge engineering, has the potential to provide a step-change in performance of a  vital Australian defence asset. The sapphire clock, developed by the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing, offers a 1000-fold improvement in timing precision, which has the potential to improve the ability for Australian Defence to identify threats to Australia using the Jindalee Over-The-Horizon Radar Network. The clock is so good its performance is the equivalent of only losing or gaining one second every 40 million years.

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High Power Durability of Soft Glasses for Laser Applications

Prof Heike Ebendorff- Heidepriem and Associate Professor Martin O’Connor have received funding from the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research to investigate the fundamental limit of achievable laser power for mid-infrared transmitting soft glasses. The project focuses on four different glass types using established glass compositions and fabrication procedures developed at IPAS: fluoroindate, fluorozirconate, germanate and tellurite; with the aim to develop a range of new high gain doped materials towards enabling the realisation of new laser and amplifier systems with enhanced operating parameters.

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Click here to see the cold atoms being loaded into our hollow-core fibre

Fibre-Based Quantum Memory for Secure Communications

Cyber security is one of Australia's national security priorities - Australia's national security, economic prosperity and social wellbeing rely on the availability, integrity and confidentiality of a range of information and communications technology.

The development of cutting-edge quantum technologies such as quantum computing and quantum key distribution has critical implications for the secure transmission of information.

Combining our novel atom-filled hollow-core fibres with state-of-the-art quantum information storage protocols, we are creating a compact, robust and modular “quantum node” - the key ingredient to developing an optical fibre-based network for provably-secure communications.

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Upconversion Fluorescence for Real-time Stand-off Detection and Identification of Explosives

IPAS members have received funding from Defence Industry & Innovation to research a potentially transformative technology for stand-off real-time explosives sensing.

There are currently no robust, rapid technologies suitable for application in the field for real-time detection and identification of explosives at stand-off ranges of 10 m or more. Other technologies exist, such as laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy or Raman spectroscopy, but all have limitations that impact their efficacy and potential for real-world deployment.

The team is using leading-edge laser technology including mid-IR lasers developed at IPAS to explore upconversion fluorescence (UF) from explosives molecules, precursors and products, aiming to demonstrate the feasibility of UF for stand-off sensing, and define the required parameters for deployable UF explosives sensors.

This research leverages extensive investment by the Australian mining industry, through CRC ORE, which has created the globally leading UF research facility at IPAS.

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Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing

North Terrace Campus
The Braggs Building
The University of Adelaide
Adelaide SA 5005


T: +61 8 8313 9254

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