DSTO - University of Adelaide to address national shortfall in microwave radar and photonics expertise

Monday, 17 March 2003

The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the University of Adelaide are to extend their collaborative research efforts with the announcement today of the establishment of a Chair in Photonics and Chair in Microwave Radar at the university.

The research agreements will lead to an improved national engineering and research base in photonics and microwave radar that will be critical to future major acquisition programs for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Professor James McWha, Vice Chancellor, University of Adelaide, Dr Nanda Nandagopal, Director of DSTO's Systems Sciences Laboratory and Mr Neil Bryans, Director, Information Sciences Laboratory signed the agreements today at DSTO Edinburgh in South Australia.

DSTO will fund the appointments of a Professor in Physics (Chair in Photonics) and a Professor in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Chair in Microwave Radar) at the university for five years.

"DSTO and the University of Adelaide will develop each Centre with world class research expertise while addressing a national shortfall in these niche technologies" said Mr Bryans.

"This is another great example of how DSTO is collaborating with academia/industry to strengthen the technology base available to Australia's defence and therefore contributing to national wealth," said Mr Bryans.

The Chairs will be responsible for the coordination of research activities at the university including initiating new and expanding existing research programs with DSTO and developing linkages with industry.

The Chairs will also provide post-graduate research supervision and research courses and seminars to students enrolled at the university and post-doctoral fellows located at DSTO.

"The primary aim of the two Chairs will be to focus national resources on emerging microwave radar and photonics technologies with a particular emphasis on fundamental research with applications to defence" said Dr Nandagopal.

"The alignment between DSTO and the University of Adelaide in these areas will help strengthen an enduring long term national R&D infrastructure," said Dr Nandagopal.

Following the signing, Professor James McWha and other University leaders were given a tour of key facilities at DSTO Edinburgh by Dr Nandagopal and Mr Bryans.

Photonics is an emerging technology that involves the exploration and development of the use of photons of laser light in any endeavour including the control, manipulation, transfer and storage of information.

New products and technologies coming out of photonics and microwave radar research have a multitude of applications within Defence including communications, phased-array radar and advanced electronic warfare systems.

The Chairs will oversee a Centre of Expertise in each of the technology areas, which will be formally established between DSTO and the university later this year. This will form part of a broader Strategic Alliance between DSTO and the University of Adelaide, which will facilitate a range of other cooperative teaching and research programs.

  • Photos of the signing between DSTO and the University of Adelaide available on request.


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