By Peter Roberts
We all know that Australia lags on any measure of collaboration between science and industry, but changes are underway in the defence field.
Defence science as we know it today was largely born in the technology spur given Australia during WW2 and the UK’s missile testing centred on the Woomera rocket range in the 1950s and 60s.
The expert laboratories formed then, now known collectively as DSTG, and defence’s collaborative research group DMTC have just sent out an SOS for help to develop what it is calling Human Integrated Sensor System (HISS).
Such systems might be used by troops working in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Environments by leveraging subtle signals from the human body to detect and react to infection or exposure.
“Imagine if we had the capacity to detect infection within hours of exposure, rather than days, by simply probing for cues from our own bodies.
“It would be a game changer that would allow us to get ahead of the spread.”
It is an intriguing question, but where would you even start?
Developers and providers of sensing systems, advanced biotechnology and data analytics are being invited to share knowledge, experience, and ideas at an HISS collaborative workshop.
“(This) is one of the core future focused problems Defence and DSTG are prioritising as part of the More, Together Defence Science and Technology strategy.
“(It is) the sort of problem that can’t be solved alone or without significant advances in science, technology and research.”
With more than 30 per cent of the Australian population locked down due to Covid-19, we could all do with a little help sensing danger.
The challenges are even greater for defence personnel who might be called upon to work in really hazardous situations.
Defence calls these sort of quests STaR Shots
And while you might puzzle at the blizzard of complex names and acronyms, it is great to see such things happen more regularly nowadays – good luck to them.
You can find more information here.
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