New Agreement Paves Way for Virtual Testing of Soldier Combat Systems

Prof. Lee Astheimer, DVC (Research), Deakin University with Prof. Jim McCluskey, DVC (Research), The University of Melbourne

Prof. Lee Astheimer, DVC (Research), Deakin University with
Prof. Jim McCluskey, DVC (Research), The University of Melbourne

The development of a virtual testing environment for military equipment is the focus of a new agreement signed between the University of Melbourne and Deakin University.

The Memorandum of Understanding brings together the Defence Science Institute (DSI) at the University of Melbourne and Deakin University’s Centre for Intelligent Systems Research (CISR).

The agreement paves the way for the rapid evaluation of advanced combat uniforms and equipment for Australian military personnel. Human performance on the battlefield depends on the equipment, including helmets, body armour, eye protection, packs and uniforms, providing a high level of protection while also being comfortable and durable.Prof. Lee Astheimer, DVC (Research), Deakin University with Prof. Jim McCluskey, DVC (Research), The University of Melbourne

Mr Terry Friend, from the DSI said equipment is rapidly evolving and new options require robust evaluation.

“Current testing methods require expensive physical trials and are limited in the range of test scenarios. Under this agreement, new research will develop a virtual testing environment able to deliver feedback to testers while simulating a wider range of test scenarios.” he said.

“The DSI is proud and excited to lay down the foundations of this research collaboration. Bringing together the research institutions and seed funding this research, is one plank in the platform of ensuring that Victoria remains at the forefront of defence research for Australia.” he said

Prof. McCluskey is joined by Prof. Astheimer, Minister Dalla-Riva, Dr. Lough, Prof. Nahavandi and Dr. Sciacca

Prof. McCluskey is joined by Prof. Astheimer, Minister Dalla-Riva, Dr. Lough, Prof. Nahavandi and Dr. Sciacca

“This timely initiative brings together research teams that are recognised as world leaders in this field,” said Saeid Nahavandi, Alfred Deakin Professor and Director of Deakin’s Centre for CISR.

“Our state of the art universal motion simulator (UMS) will provide the perfect testing environment for the projects to be undertaken under this new initiative.Prof. McCluskey is joined by Prof. Astheimer, Minister Dalla-Riva, Dr. Lough, Prof. Nahavandi and Dr. Sciacca

“The UMS can be programmed to simulate the situations our military personnel find themselves in; providing a real-world experience within a safe, virtual environment. Not only can it simulate a realistic sense of touch and feel, but through 3D technology the user is totally immersed in the set training environment and their physical and
mental responses can be recorded through systems that monitor brain responses and pulse and blood pressure.”

The agreement is anticipated to be the first of several agreements that the Defence Science Institute will sign with various Victorian universities and industry to further research collaborations in the defence industry.

Manufacturing, Exports and Trade Minister Richard Dalla-Riva said “Victoria’s strong research and development base is crucial for maintaining an agile, innovative and responsive defence industry.

“I congratulate the DSI and the CISR team for finalising this exciting partnership that formally brings together two of our state’s leading defence R&D institutions,” he said.