National security in the spotlight

Major new grants which aim to advance Australia’s security, sovereignty and economy have been awarded to experts in their fields at Flinders University.

Experts from three Flinders University colleges will team with the Department of Defence, defence industry and other government partners in a number of new research projects.

The new projects were announced in two separate rounds of government funding, the first involving SmartSat CRC, the Department of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), and a range other collaborators.

Flinders University Professor Sam Drake at Tonsley Innovation Precinct.

With SmartSat CRC and DSTG, Flinders University  Professor Samuel Drake and will collaborate on a project entitled Spectrum Monitoring: Identifying Australia’s Needs and Opportunities.

The project aims to identify areas of growth in satellite spectrum monitoring. It will provide advice on what technology capabilities can be developed within Australia and assess the market potential.

The Professor of Electromagnetic Systems and Security  is co-director of the new Centre for Defence Engineering Research and Training at Flinders University’s College of Science and Engineering.

Also with SmartSat CRC and Adelaide cybersecurity company CyberOps, Associate Professor Rodrigo Praino (College of Business, Government and Law) is starting a new project, ‘Cybersecurity of space infrastructure: a multidisciplinary approach.’

This project aims to identify concrete cyber threats that currently exist within the Australian space market, clarify the policy and legal protection available to satellite operators in case of cyber incidents, and recommend a set of security controls falling within both the technical and policy dimensions.

Photo: Department of Defence

In the latest round of grants from the  Defence Innovation Partnership Collaborative Research Fund,  Flinders University will lead two new projects:

Associate Professor Maarten Immink.

Associate Professor Maarten Immink (College of Nursing and Health Sciences) will lead a project to develop neuroscience-based approaches to enhancing human cognitive performance with collaborators from the University of South Australia, Lumination and partners at the Department of Defence (Army and DSTG).

“The field of neuroscience offers promising methods and innovative approaches to meet Australian Defence Force human performance requirements,” he says.

College of Science and Engineering lecturer in computing and mathematical sciences Dr Mehwish Nasim will lead another Defence Innovation Partnership project to address design challenges in wargames, with partners from the Department of Defence, University of Adelaide, UNSW and DEWC Systems Pty Ltd.

Dr Mehwish Nasim.

Dr Nasim says: “This project will build a maturity assessment tool that can be used for designing the next generation of wargames. The framework will be a step towards allowing the designers to validate, compare, and predict the effects of each component on game play to meet the intended outcomes of a wargame.

“It will enable transformation of the components of wargames, including the information operations, and other under-examined areas such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, to ensure that they are fully optimised and functional across the wargame to meet the intended outcomes. The systematic framework should also help keep the interest of the players intact during the play which is important for learning.”

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