Take a look at our three latest projects

Detection and Mitigation of Hearing Loss in the ADF project secures a DHF Grant


Hearing Image

With the support of the Defence Science Institute, The University of Melbourne’s Dr David Sly has been awarded a $60k Defence Health Foundation Grant to continue his research into the “Detection and mitigation of hearing loss in the ADF”.  The Defence Health Foundation Grant recognised the quality of the proposed research and its high relevance to the Defence Community.  The Defence Science Institute (DSI) contributed towards Dr Sly’s research by working closely with stakeholders in Defence to secure Defence ethics approval and to source ADF serving personnel as study participants, both for experiments conducted this year and for planned experiments next year.  Dr Sly’s research could produce technologies and treatments that would measurably reduce the risk of hearing loss for ADF members serving the nation, improving quality of life both during and post service.

The DSI would like to congratulate David Sly and his Team for being selected for the grant competing against hundreds of other applicants.



DSI Contributes to developing an Intelligent Mission Planning for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.


The Defence Science Institute (DSI), the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) & RMIT University project on Autonomous Energy-Harvesting and Intelligent Mission Planning for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operating in Urban Environments has resulted in exciting developments that will ultimately enhance the endurance and capabilities of small unmanned aerial systems through energy harvesting during flight.

UASProject Leaders Dr Reece Clothier, Prof Simon Watkins, Dr Jennifer Palmer, Dr Alex Fisher and Dr Matthew Marino have undertaken a programme of research to develop:

1. a flight control system for a micro fixed wing Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) that allows the UAS to autonomously “surf” or “soar” in regions of positive wind (updrafts). The system has been successfully flight-tested on a ridgeline.

2. a novel method of wind sensing based on the differential thrust required for a multi-rotor unmanned aircraft system to remain in stable hover.

3. a multi-criteria path planning system that allows a UAS to “seek” and “harvest” energy.

They have also experimentally measured (using LIDAR and Cobra probes) the wind flow structure and turbulence around a large building. The measurements will be used to further improve existing CFD and experimental models.

This project provided one final year engineering student thesis project and two summer undergraduate internships. Simulation results from the multi-criteria path planner were used as a practical application for the PhD student. This project has attracted significant future Opportunities, Recommendations and Leverage  from local and overseas organisations.

A video showing a soaring UAV is available here.


Bio-mimicry to Produce New Active Materials


The next generation of scientists has the opportunity and challenge to apply nature’s principles to solve human problems – biomimicry. Nature has evolved complex and detailed strategies through evolution. All of these systems have an amazing control over the detailed chemistry for optimal performance for any given process, for example, energy conversion or immune defences.


The field of biomimicry is a burgeoning area, with significant industrial technology potential especially in the defence space. The DSI is supporting the development of new materials that mimic the chemistry of the catalytic triad – the most studied and versatile active site in biochemistry. These artificial enzymes could be used to produce coatings that repel the growth of bacteria on surfaces, as a treatment on fabrics to decontaminate nerve agents, as a decontamination spray for infrastructure or even as an ingestible antidote — offering protection to warfighter and civilians against a range of chemical and biological threats. This work is being undertaken at the University of Melbourne by Dr Luke Connal and his team, with significant contributions from the Defence Science Institute and the US Army.