The University of South Australia (UniSA) and the University of Wollongong (UOW) will jointly conduct research into new data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for the Department of Defence.
The two Australian universities have signed a memorandum of understanding to deliver new advances using AI and data analytics in the area of informed decision-making and the development of goal-oriented autonomous systems as part of the agreement.
Specifically, the universities will focus on developing: High-level interactions between Defence systems to support battlefield decision making; autonomous systems that can think for themselves and operate in support of mission goals; information ecosystems that allow the integrated management of digital twins across the Defence asset lifecycle; self-aware software and cyber-physical systems that can autonomously assess mission alternatives and support high pressure, rapid decision making; and AI to support data analysis of the location and behavioural patterns of terrorist cells or adversary forces.
UniSA defence and space director Matt Opie said combining the expertise of both universities would improve the quality, depth, and scope of the research delivered to Defence.
“UniSA has key research capabilities in information ecosystems, data analytics, and the internet of military things to support a range of defence force requirements from battlefield decision making to military intelligence support systems,” Opie said.
“Matched with what UOW can provide, we will be able to deliver a formidable research asset to the DoD and allied industries.”
According to UniSA, the research team will be comprised of mathematicians, statisticians, engineers, and software scientists with expertise in software interoperability, software architecture, federated analytics platforms, autonomous systems, and cybersecurity by design.
The team will also have expertise and research experience in data fusion, optimisations, mining, and trustworthiness as well as in sensor systems, digital twin/asset life cycle management, overarching digital models and digital systems, and predictive maintenance.
UniSA and UOW also plan to work with the Defence Science and Technology Group within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to assess where their combined AI capability could be applied to the ADF’s new Star Shots — eight strategic projects aimed at maintaining Australia’s technological military edge in the region.
The projects, collectively dubbed Star Shots, were announced earlier this month and are intended to have the “scale and impact” of Australia’s over-the-horizon Jindalee Operational Radar Network, assist with future ADF priorities, and have a 3-star sponsor.
“This strategy introduces a new concept — Star Shots [science, technology and research shots] — that will concentrate strategic research efforts on a smaller number of bigger, specific and challenging problems,” ADF said at the time.
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