Adelaide microchip to boost defence systems

Monday, 13 December 1999

A microchip that promises to boost Australia's defence surveillance systems has won a prestigious award for Adelaide University researcher Andrew Beaumont-Smith.

Mr Beaumont-Smith, a postgraduate student in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, has been named winner of the 1999 Electronics Industry Association of South Australia Individual Award for Excellence in Engineering.

The award recognises his achievement in designing and producing a unique high-speed interval counter chip for use by Australia's defence forces in detecting radar systems.

Mr Beaumont-Smith, who works for the University's ChiPTec research centre, undertook the research on behalf of Avalon Systems Pty. Ltd., a defence research and development company based at Technology Park, South Australia.

Detecting and analysing incoming radar pulses is a key part of identifying radar systems. One aspect of the detection process can involve measuring the time intervals between pulses arriving at a number of antennae. Mr Beaumont-Smith's microchip brings a significant improvement in the level of measuring precision, and its small size will permit use on a wide range of ground, sea and air vehicles.

The chip is now the subject of a patent application. An initial production run has been delivered to Avalon Systems Pty. Ltd. for use in its R&D program for the Department of Defence.

Mr Beaumont-Smith is due to take up a position with Compaq Computer Corporation in Boston, USA, next year.

His award from the Electronics Industry Association was one of four the Association made to organisations or individuals with a direct link to the University's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

 

Contact Details

Mr Andrew Beaumont-Smith
The University of Adelaide
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Mr David Ellis
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